Thursday, January 28, 2010

Book Club Thursday The Confident Woman Chapter 4

I really enjoyed this chapter. I love anything that shows you step by step how to accomplish a goal. This chapter gave "The Seven Secrets of a Confident Woman" in such a way that I was both convicted and encouraged. Don't forget to visit Kristi's blog to read her thoughts on this week's chapter. As always, direct quotes from the book are in bold type.

Secret #1- A confident woman knows that she is loved. It is a feeling we all want to know, that we are loved for who we are. As daughters of our Heavenly Father, we have been given the greatest love imaginable and we need to share that love with others. I think that a confident women knows how to give love as well. Not just when she feels loved, but at all times.

Don't just decide what social group you want to be a part of and then try to get into it. Instead, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in choosing with whom you want to associate closely. Ahem, boy does this take me back to junior high and high school youth group! You know the girls that everyone flocks to, who always wear just the right outfits, don't seem to have a care in the world. Needless to say, I was never part of that group. I am so thankful for a mother who taught me that to not be a part of the "cool" group was a good thing. She taught me to let God choose my friends for me. I have continued to this day to let God pick my friends, and I have never been disappointed. No, my circle of friends is not very big, but the friends that make up my circle are very dear and precious to me, and they have been blessings to me spiritually and emotionally.

Secret #2- A confident woman refuses to live in fear... The Bible says in Hebrews 10:38 that we are to live by faith and not draw back in fear- and if we do draw back in fear, God's soul has no delight in us...We should do everything in a spirit of faith....When a person begins to walk in faith, Satan immediately tries to hinder her through many things, including fear...To "do it afraid" means to feel the fear and do what you believe you should do anyway....Learn to live beyond your feelings. Okay, let's be completely honest here. It is so easy to live by faith when you can see where your foot will land when you take that first step. It is so easy to tell someone else who is going to take that step, "Just have faith that God will walk you through", but when it is our turn, don't you dare tell us anything! This is a constant area of work for me. As a "control-oriented person" (to put it sweetly), I like having a plan and knowing what will happen next. I believe in schedules and planning (I used to have my lesson plans done at least a month, sometimes two, in advance). Sometimes, God purposely steps into our schedules and plans in order to teach us faith and trust (Mental note: remember that, Suzette).

Secret #3- A confident woman is positive. Fear is the dark room where all your negatives are developed. When encouraged to think positively, people often retort, "That is not reality." But the truth is that positive thinking can change your current reality. Why do people assume that being negative is more realistic than being positive? Thinking negatively makes you miserable.Thinking negatively prevents you from being aggressive, bold, and confident. I like to think of myself as being a positive person, but so often "reality" gets in my way. So many times, when we are talking about the blessings of God in our lives to others or the advances that our children are making spiritually, mentally, emotionally, verbally, academically, or however else they are growing, there are always one or two people with that wet blanket handy and ready to throw it on you with their little dose of "reality". Regardless of what "reality" others try to drown us in, we need to press forward in a positive spirit, believing that God can turn our positive belief into our reality.

Secret #4- A confident woman recovers from setbacks. A person is not a failure because she tried some things that did not work out. She fails only when she stops trying. Get your life out of "park," and get moving in some direction. Not letting the past dictate your future is part of the confident lifestyle. Hindsight is 20/20. Unfortunately, we do not have the benefit of hindsight while we are walking through our lives. We are bound to have a few missteps. However, we cannot allow our mistakes to keep us in a hilding pattern. We must forget what lies behind and press forward to what lies ahead. We aren't failures for attempting and falling, we are failures for attempting, falling, and not getting back up.
Secret #5- A confident woman avoids comparisons. I believe it is insulting to our Maker (God) when we compare ourselves with others and desire to be what they are. I encourage you to be content with who you are. Need I say more?
Secret #6 A confident woman takes action. Making mistakes is not the end of the world. So search your heart and ask yourself what you believe God wants you to do- and then do it. As confident women, we need to be proactive. What gifts has God given me? How can I best use these gifts and abilities? What more can I do with these gifts and abilities? This is where I am right now. And when you ask God for the answer to these questions, He gives them to you. I can't tell you how many sleepless nights I have had as idea after idea runs through my mind.
Secret #7- A confident woman does not live in "if only," and "what if." Don't live in the tyranny of "if only." If we will just give God what we have, He will use it and give us back more than we had to begin with. "If only" is a thief of what could be. As with secret #4, do not live your life thinking about your mistakes, whether they be great or small. Move forward and ask God to turn the mistakes of the past into a blessing for the future.
Where the mind goes, the man follows. If you pay more attention to your thoughts and choose to think on things that will help you instead of hinder you, it will release God's power to help you be the confident woman God wants you to be.


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