In the immortal words of the Jedi-master: "Don't try. Do."

starwars.wikia.com Reams of paper line my office floor, information that needs to be transformed into a book.

A hopeful life change that looked promising is not happening.

I'm still hoping to find a regular spot to serve in ministry.

We are still in the same house we've been in since we married six years ago, though we've always said we would move.

And instead of filling the house with children, we've filled it with books. (Which kind of are my children, but that's for another post.) 

I can no longer say that we're in transition and believe myself because—you guys—we are still in this same space. Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, it feels like we're staring at the same four walls. And so these emotions just spilled out the other day as my husband and I were talking. "I get so tired of trying sometimes," I said, in a moment of brutal honesty. To which he quipped: "In the words of Yoda: Don't try. Do!" 

Seriously?!? It was at this point that I wished I had watched Star Wars with my nephew.

I am so glad that God didn't create us to be successful, however you might define the word. He created me to be a reflection of him, to represent his interests of love and justice, to spread the news that Jesus is King and that he has love enough for all of us, every one. And his definition of success doesn't involve large-scale numbers and a bigger house; it doesn't require me to have children (even if I do desire them); it doesn't at all depend on whether I am leading or teaching publicly, using my gifts in a way that is noticed by others.

It hinges only on faithfulness. Showing up. Not trying, but actually doing something.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. -Matthew 25:34-36

As I look back over disappointments even in the last few weeks, the times that shine brightest are these:

  • Moving a friend experiencing homelessness into an apartment and witnessing her gratitude for shelter, bologna in the fridge, and a pillow and a blanket so she might sleep on the floor. Hearing that she slept soundly because she finally felt safe. And even more joy: I get to bring an old television with DVD player to her tonight and let her borrow some movies.
  • My husband and I visiting someone in the hospital, sharing, caring, and praying over him, for God's help and blessing in his life.
  • Sharing an in-depth conversation with a Brazilian student with whom we are trying to teach English. Answering his questions from a place of honesty and generosity, talking with him about the reality of racism and that I long to experience and model reconciliation.

In each and every situation, it felt like we were just showing up. Offering grace. Listening. Being present. Bearing witness to the love of Jesus in us and for us. It is likely the days will come when I will be ministering, writing, speaking and teaching in different ways. But just for today, I'm called to show up where I can and start doing something, anything I can, to inhabit this space. I want to swap trying for trusting and start doing.

Do you feel the same? What would it look like if you stopped trying and started doing something for the Kingdom today? (And...what is your favorite Yoda quote?)

Reclaiming Eve, Out and About

4ffbcc84288edb2d21fa286abee22687A few weeks ago in church, I started chatting with a man named Mike.

"I'm reading your book," he said. (Anytime a brother says this, I want to stand up and shout.)

Smiling, I asked him what he thought.

"At first I wasn't sure what to think," he said. "But then I started reading it. And I thought, this really is what Jesus makes possible. But mostly, I just love the stories. I keep reading to find the stories." 

***

Today someone asked me what it feels like to be a published author, and I said "Mostly the same. Except that there is opposition and there is also support, and you just have to do what God is calling you to do." Would I do it all over again, if I knew how hard it would be to get published and to speak into this big conversation the Church desperately needs to have on reclaiming women for the Kingdom?

I would. I would, because one by one, I hear stories of women from Africa to Indiana being set free. Of brothers reading and discussing and supporting their sisters. Of the freedom Jesus came to bring ringing out, a little bit here, a little bit there.

May the freedom song continue, echoing, so that the whole world hears. 

***

Reclaiming Eve, Out and About

Linked:

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Video:

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  • Coming soon: I'm doing a Fullfill webinar with Elisa Morgan on May 21 at 2 pm ET/1 pm CT. Sign up here. Especially helpful for those who want to lead a Reclaiming Eve discussion or study.
  • Preorder now: Reclaiming Eve Small Group DVD (Available in July) at beaconhillbooks.com and other online outlets.

Join the #ReclaimingEve conversation on facebook or twitter.

In Reclaiming Eve, you’ll find solid biblical thinking to help you shake off false mythology about womanhood and grab hold of much-needed freedom to embrace your destiny as God’s woman. Pick up this book, throw off the ‘old’ and live out your influence! -Elisa Morgan, Speaker, Author, She Did What She Could and The Beauty of BrokenPublisher, FullFillwww.fullfill.org 

Friday meditation + Reclaiming Eve, Out and About

imageWhat is Jesus primarily saying to his daughters? Or put another way, the question repeats: What would you tell the woman who is discouraged by her present circumstances? 

The one facing a dead end. The many wondering how to fully contribute the gifts the Holy Spirit placed in them. Those who may be silenced.

I am not sure that my answer ever completely satisfies; I fear some are looking for the perfect solution.

I have no immediate solution that works for all, though I pray for one. But I do have a Savior.

###

I tell them they are the Beloved, the One Jesus loves, and that he delights in them.

I say, remember Jesus, dunked down in the waters of the Jordan, coming up again, only to be covered over with Belovedness, the Spirit alighting, the voice saying:

"This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

Did you know that God loves you this much? That he seeks out the desperate, downtrodden and discouraged and offers them his delight and pleasure? How can I convince you that you are defined by God's intentions—his great, glorious intentions for each of his daughters, and not by your current circumstances?

How can I convince myself?

###

Jesus' words ring true for all of us, all of us who are stretching, reaching out to touch his hem, hoping that just a touch will heal.

Who touched me? he says.

We fall at his feet, trembling in fear, and confess the truth.

And he says, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

But there is more than simple healing here. The unclean woman (Mark 5:25-34) went from exclusion (do you feel this, too?) to complete inclusion (a daughter given a place).

Keep reaching for his hem. Keep meeting with him as his Beloved. Watch him heal you and know that no matter what anyone else says, Jesus has already set his daughters free.

Watch the two-minute video on how Jesus frees The Unclean Woman here.

***

Reclaiming Eve, Out and About

Linked:

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Broadcast:

  • TheWritingShow.com, hosted by Ann Byle and Dawn Jones, on the challenges and writing of Reclaiming Eve. Listen here.
  • WKTO Florida - Enjoyed a conversation with Carol Henry and prayer for God's daughters to be set free.

Video:

Join the #ReclaimingEve conversation on facebook or twitter.

An official update on the Reclaiming Eve book + DVD curriculum

Have you ever worked on a project that took four years to hatch?  If so, you'll understand our jubilation at announcing that, indeed, the Reclaiming Eve book will be published in spring 2014! It will release in March, to be exact.

Here are a few endorsements:

149718_72bd21c05fa807bb11428e0e3b989d0a.jpg_srz_320_425_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz“The authors write, ‘..this woman has been following me all my life!’ No kidding! The reputation of Eve has trailed after us all, holding onto our ankles, pulling us back from what God has always had in mind for us to pursue and become: his free women! In Reclaiming Eve, you’ll find solid biblical thinking to help you shake off false mythology about womanhood and grab hold of much-needed freedom to embrace your destiny as God’s woman. Pick up this book, throw off the ‘old’ and live out your influence! -Elisa Morgan, Speaker, Author, She Did What She Could and The Beauty of BrokenPublisher, FullFill, www.fullfill.org 

EdC200_thumb1“Reclaiming Eve reminds us that scripture empowers and uplifts women, calling them not to merely be helpers, but to become full partners in the work of God's Kingdom. The Bible has become "bad news" for women in many churches, but this refreshing and liberating book sets the record straight.” -  Ed Cyzewski, author of Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life and co-author of Unfollowers: The Doubters, Detractors, and Dropouts Who Didn't Follow Jesus

Slingshot_120427_08_MK"Reclaiming Eve is a book I wish I could have read in my teens or early twenties, when I was just embarking on the adventure and challenge of ministry. Grounded in Scripture and brought to life by their own real experiences, the authors ennoble women.  I am thrilled to recommend this resource for every daughter of Eve who struggles at times to ground her identity in a solid place, who longs to make a difference for Jesus, and who hears false messages every day from our culture - which would include about every woman I know!" -Nancy Beach, Leadership Coach, Speaker, Champion of the Artists in the Church; Author of Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church

Beacon Hill Press team

My coauthors and I just returned from a trip where we recorded eight 10-minute video discussion segments that will be used in church groups for those who choose to use Reclaiming Eve as a Bible study in their small group or church class. In what could only be a beautiful act of God, the videotaping among the three of us was seamless, rewarding and fun. (Admittedly, part of the fun was dressing up in cute outfits and getting our hair and makeup done. And I'm not apologizing for it!) The folks from Nazarene Publishing House/Beacon Hill Press treated us so kindly. But the best part of the whole video thing was the realization that this project has transformed me spiritually and that these coauthors have lovingly pointed me toward Jesus and his plans for all of us. What a gift!

Not only will the book finally be published—painting a Christ-centered vision for why women must rise up to join their brothers in advancing God's Kingdom—the video will help to reinforce our personal passion to see God's daughters celebrated, encouraged, and mobilized for him. The DVD package will include a Bible-study insert that will help guide the weekly studies, and each ten-minute segment can also be downloaded individually if you're only interested in one or two chapter discussions.

So thank you for joining us on our journey to reclaim Eve and every woman ever born, no matter her circumstance. Stay tuned for regular updates, and an official way to preorder the book in the next month or so. This is our prayer: Do with this little book what you will, Lord. May it unleash women to stand side-by-side with their brothers, advancing Your Kingdom through all means possible. So be it.

Stay tuned for the next update, when we'll announce the preorder page on amazon.com.

In your opinion, what keeps us from seeing Eve as a full imagebearer of the living God? Why has she so often carried a "second-class citizenship" throughout history? Can't wait to read your answers.