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What Women Want: The Life You Crave and How God Satisfies

(Paperback - Jul 2007)
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Overview

From a deeper relationship with God to harmony in the home, from stronger marriages to more satisfying work: "Women Want More.
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In "What Women Want" bestselling author Lisa T. Bergren and Rebecca Price invite readers to thoughtfully consider their soul-deep longings -- and pursue God's best in every area of life. Using in-depth interviews from a national survey and hundreds of personal interviews, biblical narratives, their own personal stories and inspiring quotes, the authors point fellow seekers toward the kind of wholeness God desires, providing lots of fun and inspiration along the way. They explore friendship, how and where to find happiness, health, and more with an eye on physical, emotional, and spiritual matters.
A Bible study, designed for personal or group use and tested with dozens of women's ministries around the country before publication, is included at the end of each chapter.
Young or old, married or single, with children or without, striving in the workplace or working in the home, readers will resonate with Lisa and Rebecca's descriptions of the life women crave, and learn how God fulfills the very desires He stirs.
What women want is no secret. But discovering the God who satisfies might just be the adventure of a lifetime.

Details

  • SKU: 9781400072453
  • SKU10: 140007245X
  • Title: What Women Want: The Life You Crave and How God Satisfies
  • Qty Remaining Online: 2
  • Publisher: Waterbrook Press
  • Release Date: Jul 17, 2007
  • Pages: 306
  • Weight lbs: 0.87
  • Dimensions: 8.94" L x 6.08" W x 0.85" H
  • Features: Price on Product, Bibliography
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical; Sex & Gender | Feminine;
  • Category: WOMEN
  • Subject: Christian Life - Women's Issues

Chapter Excerpt

Chapter 1: You, Fabulous You

A Phenomenal Creation of God

The heart that has tasted of God’s love will always turn back to Him with longing and say, “Only Your love can meet my deepest needs.”
RUTH MYERS

Why are we women constantly seeking? Why are our hearts restless, never at peace? That is the question that Rebecca and I (Lisa) bandied about, the question that ultimately led to this book.

In short, we decided that we are restless because God created us to crave more–to seek after all we could be and to find his satisfaction in every aspect of life, at least as close as we can get, this side of heaven. Every one of us will be struggling with a slightly different version of where we’d like to grow this year. What Women Want is meant to help you begin the process.

It may well be that one or two chapters, in particular, start beeping like a smoke alarm that needs its battery changed. Pay special attention to those areas; begin your investigation there, then use the “Additional Resources” at the back of this book to delve deeper. Honestly seek where God is leading you.

As students along the road with you, we’ve relied heavily on the experts in each area addressed. And our experience in Christian publishing has connected us with great communicators and teachers, helping us put together what we hope will be an easy guide to help you take steps toward ultimate satisfaction. Our first goal for What Women Want is to help you define what you hunger for–really figure out what you want this year–and to discover some of the answers. We think you’ll find in the process that only God can ultimately fill you.

Lois writes: I feel as though I am doing all the talking in my prayer time, because I often forget a conversation involves listening. God can’t speak to me if I don’t take the time to listen.

We do the same thing, Lois! Our second goal for this book is that after you begin to think about each priority in your life, you’ll find great questions for reflection, discussion (if you’re reading in a group), and deeper study and application.

YOU ARE PHENOMENAL

But before we get to our study, let’s start at the beginning. Why do you think God bothers with you, or with Rebecca and me? Even when we have so much to learn, so many ways to grow? Because God thinks we’re phenomenal. In the dictionary, phenomenal is defined as “of or constituting a phenomenon; extremely unusual; extraordinary; highly remarkable.”

When was the last time you honestly thought of yourself as any of those descriptive words–as phenomenal? Write your thoughts here: Phenomenal. It’s a word that makes us flinch, isn’t it? Phenomenal? Me?

Yes, you. There is no one like you, and that is on purpose–God’s purpose. Our God doesn’t make mistakes. You’re just what God ordered up. Turn to a friend in your group, or look in the mirror, and say, “I am a phenomenal creation of God.”

No, don’t just read over this–do it. We’re serious. If you’re alone, go right now and say it ten times, slowly, in front of the mirror:

I am a phenomenal creation of God.
I am a phenomenal creation of God.
I am a phenomenal creation of God.
I am a phenomenal creation of God.
I am a phenomenal creation of God.
I am a phenomenal creation of God.
I am a phenomenal creation of God.
I am a phenomenal creation of God.
I am a phenomenal creation of God.
I am a phenomenal creation of God.

Now pause and think on this. Really think: What do you know to be true? What do you hear God whispering in your ear? Don’t just read past this. Stop! Stop reading until you’ve honestly done this. Even if you have to grit your teeth, do it.

You’re back?

Okay, now practice saying throughout the day, this week, this year, “I am phenomenal.”

Or you can use one of these favorites:
Liz Curtis Higgs encourages women to say, “Ta-da!” in front of the mirror.
Stasi Eldredge teaches women to think of themselves as “captivating.”

If you’re like us, you probably deny such outrageous words. You’re not used to them, so you think it prideful to say such things. That’s what we were taught in Sunday school, right?
Phenomenal? Ta-da? Captivating?

We duck and feign modesty, but inside we long to hear these very words. We long for someone to reassure us this is the truth. What keeps us from believing we are phenomenal?

Ann writes: Intellectually, I understand this. Emotionally, I can be spun off center when someone uses triggers from my childhood when I was not treated with respect. I’m sixty-five and still struggle with this.

Heidi writes: Scripture tells me I am special in God’s sight, that he knows every hair on my head, knows what I need even before I ask. Yet there is a fear in me that I am not good enough, that I do not measure up to others, that my work lacks the originality and quality of others. I could blame my feelings on how I was raised–in a rural area, in a poor, uneducated family.
I could blame it on a difficult marriage in which I was led to believe that I was inferior and not as smart. But I will not wallow there. In truth, I do believe that in God’s sight I am special. Yet I can’t let go of what people think. I have not separated myself enough from how the world views me.

How do I get there?

Jill writes: Sometimes, thinking about past sins, I wonder how God can still love me, even though I know he’s forgiven me. Satan really likes to mess with my head in that area. I try to tune the thoughts out and focus on where I am now.

Samantha writes: Maybe it’s because my husband has been married to me for four and a half years and I get so much more attention from everyone else of the male species. Maybe it’s because I just don’t get how I can be special and precious.

Voices, voices, voices, speaking to us all. Which voice are you hearing? The world’s? Your past’s? God’s? When I praise my three-year-old son, Jack, saying, “I love you, Jack. You are smart and wonderful and funny and sweet as can be” (while kissing him all over his face), he returns, “Talk it again, Mama, talk it again.”

When did we forget how to appreciate words of praise and delight and love? When did we forget? When did we learn how to avoid them, ducking like we duck a curve ball rather than catching it in a big glove?

Pit Thoughts Versus His Thoughts

I can’t forgive myself. I feel so guilty.
He forgives me. I need nothing more than that (1 John 1:9).

My life is so hard; he must hate me.
He loves me and I can learn more about his love, even through these hard times (Hebrews 12:11).

He doesn’t know the real me.
He knew me in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

I am unworthy.
Christ has made me righteous (Romans 3:22).

I do not deserve love.
I am loved and forgiven and worthy in Christ (1 John 4:9).

Instead of thinking (or better yet, saying) “talk it again!” we think to ourselves, I’m too fat. I’m too thin. I’m flabby–are there any muscles under there? Bad-hair day. Bad-skin day. Are those age spots? wrinkles? I have no style.

Sometimes it’s the deeper, tougher thoughts we allow to rise: I’m nothing. I’m not special. I can’t do anything right. I can’t do anything well. I’m worthless. No one cares about me. I’m not worth caring about. I’m a failure.

Rebecca calls these Pit Thoughts.

We want you to recognize them, to train your mind to isolate and reject such thoughts. Pin them to an imaginary bulletin board, and then imagine blow-torching them into ashes. Or write those Pit Thoughts down on a piece of paper that you crumple and throw into the trash. Our common Enemy wants us to believe Pit Thoughts that take us away from the oasis truth of our adoring Creator to instead wander among the desert of his lies.

A Phenomenal Creation of God (PCOG) craves satisfaction and focuses on His Thoughts not Pit Thoughts. Throughout this book, in every chapter, you’ll see examples of some Pit Thoughts versus His Thoughts–common negative thoughts we have and how to transform them into God’s thoughts for us. Add your own Pit Thoughts to these lists and what you know are His Thoughts from Scripture and what you learn of him there.

You can do it! You can! You can grow in every area of your life. You can learn to embrace peace, laugh every day, and challenge your mind, heart, body, and soul.

We’re on this journey too, walking beside you. No one can opt out–no one has arrived until she enters into heaven’s glory. Until then, there’s growing to do.

SHINE JESUS

When Reese Witherspoon accepted her 2006 Oscar for playing June Carter Cash in the film Walk the Line, her respect for the woman was obvious. She quoted June’s response when someone had asked June how she was doing: “I’m just trying to matter.” I heard an even better goal expressed at my aunt Ruth’s memorial service last year. Her friend said in the eulogy, “The goal for any of us is to finish life used up, worn out, and spit out, crawling to the finish line. Ruth did that.”

We, as Phenomenal Creations of God (PCOGs, unite!), want to embrace our lives, not just survive them. We want to make the most of each moment rather than let life simply happen to us. We want to celebrate big, love fiercely, and beloved in return. We want to be healthy–spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, financially.

Write your own want here: I want to…

Write another want here: I want to…

We want to be women who shine Jesus through our eyes. Who do you know like that? List them here:

We are privileged to know many women who shine Jesus through their eyes. We have dear friends who inspire us, and in our surveys, we’ve brushed up against many more out in the world who are just as inspirational.

Picture one of those people. Picture someone you know who really sees the person in front of her. Someone who loves freely and lets others know they are extremely valuable. Someone you would like to emulate. Picture someone who hugs without censure, who cries when the heart overflows, and who laughs often.

You know who we’re talking about. She is one of the satisfied. What makes her the way she is? You want to be one of the satisfied, right? Then let’s go after our wants, longings, and yearnings together. What’s to keep us from being satisfied too? We are phenomenal! We are God’s own creation!

Just so you know, for all this rah-rah talk, there are plenty of days that we feel less than phenomenal. That’s why Rebecca reminds herself of this verse over and over and quotes it as God’s claim on her life: “Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever” (Psalm 73:25—26, NLT).

The point is, on those less-than-phenomenal days, our direction is to always focus on Christ. Through him, we will find the truly phenomenal. Allowing him to work in and through us, we become PCOGs of amazing importance. Rebecca says, “When I think back to the long line of women who have been my spiritual mentors, it makes me cry. I’ve been blessed by women who have challenged me, discipled me, and loved me from the time I was a brand-new believer.”

Every one of those women has been vital to Rebecca’s faith walk. Think about those who have been vital in your life. Each of us has these people. We once heard Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ, speak about our being “links in the chain” for other believers.2 We don’t each have to be an entire span of chain for another–don’t panic–but we are each a link. You are a link. I am a link. We have to ask ourselves, are we paper links for another? Or are we the strongest metal? We need one another!

Life is precious and goes so fast; let’s not waste a moment. We want to become women who shine Jesus through our eyes, reveling in soul satisfaction. We are sisters in Christ, and we want to grow into all that God wants for us, more and more each day.

We are the sisterhood of the Phenomenal One. In him we already know Love at its finest, and Love knows us.

It can only get better from here. For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. Psalm 107:9, ESV

Continues.

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