Beautiful Me: Believing God's Truth About You
By: Stasi Eldredge
Published: January 1st 2016 by David C. Cook
Genre: Nonfiction, Spiritual, Religious, Inspirational
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--In this ninety-day devotional, Stasi Eldredge takes excerpts from her book Free to Be Me and pairs them with prayers, Scripture, and positive declarations. Day by day, she turns you back to the truth that God sees you as beautiful beyond measure—and he delights in dreaming big dreams for your life!
I cannot say enough good things about Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. That book blew me away. So when I saw this devotional available for review on NetGalley, I had to snatch it up. It took me longer than it should have to start reading it because I was reading a different devotional at the time. That being said, daily devotionals aren't my favorite types of books. I mean I read them and enjoy them, but I'd really rather dive into a book and read large sections at a time and take breaks when I feel like it rather than read one small section or chapter per day. And so yeah, that's what I did with Beautiful Me too. I'd read like 20 or so devotionals at one time and then take a break from the book for a week or two.
Regardless of how I read books like this, Beautiful Me is an outstanding devotional. I do recommend that you read Stasi's other work--specifically Captivating--before digging into a book like this one. It's not necessary, but she goes so much deeper into some of the same topics within Captivating than she does in the devotional style that she uses in Beautiful Me. Either way, I just kept thinking about the many other women in my life that I know and love that I just know could benefit from this book--even my 12 year old niece. Any woman that might be struggling with confidence issues when it comes to her beauty and self-worth...well that woman could benefit from this book (which is just about everyone, right?).
As I did with Captivating, I found myself highlighting up a storm in Beautiful Me. I wish I could share with you every single section that I highlighted, but that would be too much (what's below is probably too much) and at that point you would really just be better off reading the book yourself. Still, here are my favorite quotes:
-You actually can't be anyone else--that's why it's so exhausting and unsatisfying to pretend. God made you you on purpose.
-Jesus came for your heart. To ransom, rescue, and restore the true you. He hasn't been moving heaven and earth through all eternity so that you would behave yourself. Fit into the crowd. Mind your manners. No. He wants to woo and win your heart for himself so that you will love him with it and live your life from it.
-When we have a change of heart on the inside, it manifests itself on the outside, not the other way around.
-Though my past has shaped me, I am not my past. Though my failures and the failure of others have had an effect on who I am, they do not define me. Jesus has won my victory!
-Our worth is not based on what we do, which life path we choose, or what we believe. Our worth is inherent in the fact that we are image-bearers of the living God.
-Nothing--nothing--undoes the harmful effects of suffering as our choice to worship Jesus in the midst of it. That doesn't mean we must give thanks to God for every wicked, evil, hard, painful, excruciating, grief-filled thing that happens in our lives. That would be calling evil good. No, my sister, what the Scripture says is to give thanks to God in every situation, not for every situation.
-We can choose to let suffering soften us or harden us. We can choose whether we will allow it to make us more compassionate or let our hearts become jealous of others. We can choose whether we will love Jesus in it or resent him for it. Only one set of choices will make us more beautiful.
-The battle is waged and won in our thought life: in your mind and in your heart.
-In our inner worlds, we feel alone. And being alone is the first thing that God named as "not good" (Genesis 2:18).
-You don't want to give to young men the power to tell you who you are--how valuable, how lovely, or how wanted. They don't have the right to validate you as a woman.
-You are made in God's image, right? Down to your feminine core, you express something about the heart of God to the world. And what does every woman's heart long for? To be loved. To be chose. To be a priority to someone. Think of how deeply this runs in you. Now you know something central about the heart of God. He wants that too.
-The world does not need yet another young woman who despises the lovely creation that she is. God does not long for another girl who rejects herself and, by extension, him. The world needs a woman who is thankful for how God has made her, trusts that he is transforming her, and actually enjoys who she is. It's a good thing to like who you are. God likes you! We get to like ourselves too! When you like yourself, you are free to enjoy others, and in your presence people experience an invitation to become and enjoy who they truly are as well.
-In Christ, I am no longer unclean. I have been cleansed. I am no longer a sinner. I am a saint. I am no longer unwanted. I am sought after. I am no longer ugly. I am beautiful. I am no longer guilty. I am blameless. I am no longer under condemnation. I am innocent. I am no longer in bondage. I am free. I am no longer alone. I am loved.
-Sin, failure, or your past does not define you. You are forever and only defined by the finished work of Jesus Christ. You are a daughter. A bride. And you are beautiful.
Beautiful Me was a highly enjoyable and even beautiful at times--go figure. I think that this devotional can be beneficial to all kinds of women with a myriad of different struggles. And even all different ages, from the pre-teens who understand feeling like they don't fit in to the elderly who may have a lifetime of hurts and scars that need to be redeemed. I'd easily give Beautiful Me 4.5 Stars. Have you read Beautiful Me? What did you think? Let me know!
*Side Note: I don't like the fact that Stasi Eldredge chose to use paraphrase translations on occasion for the Scripture used. Paraphrase translations can sometimes significantly alter the meaning of a particular passage. And as always, anytime I review a Spiritual book I have to recommend that you always go to the Bible to compare any of the author's thoughts against what the Bible actually says.