Nicole is a gifted author, Christian counselor and youth leader who shares her struggles with control, insecurity, comparison, fear and anger (along with unforgiveness). In her experience, she has found that these "issues" seem to be common among most women and this book/study was written to help the reader live in victory vs defeat. The book includes 14 chapters that can be read by itself or can be used along with the 6-session DVD. As mentioned before the topics range from dealing with fear and anger to giving up control. Each chapter concludes with a prayer and heart probing questions with space to journal as well as a link to bonus YouTube videos.
In the first chapter- Cheap Plastic Souls, the following questions really struck home, "If the grocery store cashier or your kid's teacher or the last waiter who served you described you with complete honesty, would loving be there first word he or she would use? Or would you be known by something else..." Wow, well in all honesty, I know that the word loving would not be their choice. Granted this was on the heels of a hectic/frazzled grocery trip with my 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 year olds. But in past few years, I have been challenged with the fact that so many well-meaning Christians don't exude true biblical love-love according to Luke 10:27, Matt 22:37-39, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I have been working on this as part of my sanctification and really striving to understand and praying about how this looks in one's everyday life.
I don't often read or use The Message version of the Bible simply because it is such a loose paraphrase of the word of God; I believe it ought to be used more as a devotional than a study tool, but the way that Eugene Peterson puts Matthew 5:3 is very personal and resonated in my heart. "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule." This is in place of the NIV of Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Again, another challenge to give up and surrender the so-called control that I enjoy in this life and allow God to be the one in charge.
In addressing the topic of insecurity, Nicole states this, "How difficult it can be to not base our purpose and identity in whatever consumes our time and energy. Yet there is a core of us that isn't about motherhood or even womanhood. It's the part of our should that is created to find rest in God alone." I find that reassuring and peaceful knowing that I don't have to strive to do or strive to be; I just need to rest in God alone. Makes me think of the song In Christ Alone: