One of the first Bible study reviews I ever did was one called Stuck by Jennie Allen. It was then that I was first introduced to Jennie’s Bible studies, and remember thinking- this is really good. I wonder if she will write more.
Well, she has– and I’m so excited to share about her most recent curriculum- Restless.
What the study is about:
If any of you were at the If:Gathering, you already know a bit about the study (even if you don’t know you do!). It’s loosely based on Hebrews 12.1-3, just as the conference was:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Jennie walks us through a series of topics surrounding purpose and calling. She speaks to how our purpose or calling fits into the bigger story of life and how God desires to use our gifts, our passions, the places we hurt, the places we are in, and the people who are close to us to share God’s love with others. I love that at one point in the leader’s guide, Jennie said that her hope for this study is that God would help us discover ourselves and get over ourselves.
A little bit about the Bible study set specifically. It comes with a leader’s guide, a participant’s guide, a DVD with 8 messages (about 20 minutes each), and a box of conversation cards to be used with each small group session (I absolutely positively love these so much. I’ve used these in group discussions and they are so helpful in getting women talking).
Why did I choose to review this?
I have wanted to be a lot of things “when I grow up”. An author, a teacher, a marine biologist, a dietician, a secretary, a politician, a lawyer, a Walmart cashier, and a kitchen cabinet saleswoman.
Recent ambitions haven’t been much more focused- a college minister, a lifelong student, a blogger, an author, an activist, a children’s librarian, a literary specialist, a curriculum writer, a bookseller, a pastor of spiritual formation, or maybe working in higher education.
One would think that as I have matured over the years, my focus would have narrowed and I would now be able to recognize and understand what God has gifted me in, and how He wants me to partner with Him from now until my time on earth is over. But, as the list above indicates, I still feel restless. I feel uncertain of my gifts. Wavering in my passions. No “place” to ground me and my “community” is stretched over thousands of miles. Perhaps a study on restlessness would be perfect for a gal like me.
First of all, it needs to be known that Jennie is a momma of 4 kids, and it is so refreshing to see her living a life that extends beyond the 4 walls of her home. I need examples like that to challenge and encourage me, because sometimes having a lot of kids can give me a good (often times, very valid!) excuse to stay inside my comfort zone. So that’s a big takeaway/challenge/encouragement.
In different parts of the video and participant’s guide, Jennie touched on motives. Because I’m hyper-reflective (maybe some of you are too), I’m constantly trying to figure out why I’m doing something. If I detect even the smallest amount of selfishness or ego, I want to completely stop. Do I continue to do something that I’m gifted in or passionate about if I’m doing it out of mixed motives? I learned that this is a more common fear than I realized, and one that can immobilize women. It’s encouraging to know that I’m not alone, and that just because I detect it, doesn’t mean I have to stop doing whatever it is I’m doing altogether.
Questions I’m now asking:
- What has God gifted me in?
- When do I feel God’s pleasure?
- What fears are holding me back from running the race that God has set for me?
Where can you go to learn more?
Jennie Allen has a website, and you can follow her of FB and Twitter. She has other books and studies: Anything, Stuck, and Chase. This week only, her Restless ebook is only 2.99. So even if you don’t end up doing this as a study, definitely get yourself the book!
And guess what… I have a copy of the Restless DVD to giveaway to one of YOU! Just enter your info and do what it says on Rafflecopter to be entered to win. The giveaway ends on Sunday night!
Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Shelton Interactive for providing me with these resources in exchange for an honest review!
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