With all of my heart and soul, I want to be a valiant and courageous woman. Hear me say I want to actually be one, not just be seen as one. There is quite a difference.

I have begun reading Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by John & Stasi Eldredge, which I am doing as a book study with another girlfriend. A few pages into the first chapter, there was this quote:

"Then the time came when the risk it took
To remain tight in a bud was more painful

Than the risk it took to bloom."

~ Anais Nin

Oh. Dear. Little tears in my eyes. I'm not sure exactly what I love about this quote...maybe it's the feeling of being on the verge of something that is somehow scary and enticing. "Then the time came..." implies that enough is enough. "Then the time came..." implies that before that, there was another time of covering, hovering, and closing oneself off. A time of doing anything but living courageously.

I want to blossom. I want to stop allowing myself to choose things that cause me to wither on the vine, and instead choose those things that are life-giving. The world does not and cannot dictate my beauty, worth, and identity. It is time to start living as the captivating, courageous woman I was intended and created to be. This is the only way I can represent Christ to the world.

Does it mean becoming an extrovert? No. I don't know if I'll ever be that. It just means choosing to live without fear, for God's sake.

So as I go through my book study of Captivating, I'm thinking about using my blog to include those of you other women who also want to read the book from afar. I would post my thoughts on the chapter, one a week, and then you could participate in the comments section. I purchased the Captivating Guided Journal also, which will help raise questions for pondering alone with God and together. Many of you, too, have said you want to pursue this abundance of life we have available to us as women.

So who is with me?