Page 1

welcome to the

Life Ready

woman


The Life Ready Woman FamilyLife Publishing® 5800 Ranch Drive Little Rock, Arkansas 72223 1-800-FL-TODAY • FamilyLife.com FLTI, d/b/a FamilyLife®, is a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International® Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org) Scripture quotations marked ESV are taken from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, (ESV ®). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission. Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, Copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189 USA. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked RSV are taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked TNIV are taken from the Holy Bible, Today’s New International Version®. TNIV ®. Copyright © 2001, 2005 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission. Quotes on pages 3, 4, 6, 15, 20, 24, 32, 44, 56, 59, 62, 65, 67, 73, 74, 80, 90, 102, 105, 106, and 110 are taken from Shaunti Feldhahn and Robert Lewis, The Life Ready Woman (Nashville: B & H, 2010). Quotes on pages 12, 30, and 104 are taken from The Life Ready Woman Video (Little Rock, AR: FamilyLife, 2011). ISBN: 978-1-60200-374-3 ©2011 FamilyLife® All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Requests for permission to make copies of any part of this publication should be sent to: permissions@ FamilyLife.com. Design: Brand Navigation, LLC Photography: Masterfile Corporation, iStockphoto, and Bigstockphoto Printed in the United States of America First Edition 15 14 13 12 11

1 2 3 4 5


Raise your hand if you want a balanced life that fits like a glove instead of a crazy one marked by worry or stress. Me, too! Like you, I juggle the demands of a busy life, so I’m delighted to have girlfriends joining me on this journey toward that place where we can thrive. We’ll be traveling together, digging into the same biblical passages and asking similar questions, but we’ll each end up with an answer that is God’s very personal direction for our lives. What challenges does your life hold? You may be a young woman wondering how to launch a great career or an older single who has a good job but wonders, Where’d all the good men go? Perhaps you’re a stay-at-home mom, wrestling with the conflicting demands of busy teenagers and aging parents, or a single mom wrestling with how to get some sleep! Maybe you’re an empty nester wondering what to do with more free time in your schedule or a grandmother with lots of wisdom, but unsure whom to share it with. As for me, my life is typified by the recent comment from a garden-center guy who, pushing aside sports equipment, camp chairs, homework folders, and a computer bag to load mulch bags into my minivan, looked up at me and said, “Soccer mom, huh?” My own challenge is how to juggle time for a husband, grade-school kids, soccer runs, church activities, and work. I have a special word for those who are single women. When we talk about marriage and children in this study, it would be easy to think, This isn’t for me. But it is for you! This series is for women in all stages of life, and that includes where you are now—single—where many of you will be—married, probably with kids or stepkids— and where some will be one day—single again. The Life Ready Woman looks into the Bible for a very personal life road map that can guide your decisions as your situation changes. There are many reasons why our lives may not look the way we expected, but we can be sure that God has a special design and purpose for each one of us, regardless of our life circumstances. In an imperfect world, there can never be a magic formula—“thriving” doesn’t mean “no trouble” or “happy every moment.” But as we learn about our unique design and callings, and as we live in a way that fits this design, we will arrive at the abundant life that God promises us and we are longing for. I’m so glad you’re joining me as we chart a course to get us there.


Contents

y o u , t oda y’s c u l t u re , 1 and your compass

session

session

2 Go d’s c a l l i n g s, y o u r c o o rd i n a t e s

session

4

session

e m br a c e a b i g -pi c t u re u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f l i f e

6

session

39

faith step 3:

s t e w a rd y o u r g i f t s fro m a n e t e r na l p e r s p e c t i v e

55

faith step 4:

71

faith step 5:

7 b e l i e ve G o d , no t y o u r f e a r

session

29

faith step 2:

5 u s e w i sdo m w i t h a m a n

session

11

faith step 1:

3 l i v e f rom t h e i n s i d e o u t

session

1

8 two w o m e n , t w o d e s t i n i e s

87

101


session

1

you, t o d a y’s cult ure, and your compass


FAS T FACTS:

I

• Half of the American

The Extraordinary World We Live In

workforce [today] is female.

(A)

Key implications for us as women

• In 1970, women contributed less than 6 percent of family income. Today, the “typical working wife” contributes 42 percent. • In 1971, women earned

1.

We must

2.

We’re going to have to make

3.

We must learn how to

4.

We must more fully engage what it means to

only 6 percent of

the belief that we can have it all. . ourselves.

and live under His authority.

professional degrees (such as medical and law degrees). By 2005, the percentage had soared to 50 percent.

(B)

What it means to be “Life Ready” 1.

• A 2007 research study

I am clear about my life . . .  in my direction.

showed that Fortune  in my priorities.

500 companies with three or more women on

 in my relationships, especially with God.

their board of directors outperformed companies with fewer female

2.

I am bold and practical in my faith.

3.

I am able to find God’s best for my life.

board members by as much as 66 percent.

2


1

y o u , to d a y ’s c u l t u re , and your compass

(C)

How do we get there? 1.

By taking a fresh look at ourselves as women through the lens of God’s Word.

2.

By interacting over this material each week in our Guided Application Project times (GAPs), small-

“No matter how crazy

group discussions, and optional homework.

your life is, there is a solid, encouraging,

3.

By taking bold and practical “next steps” of faith that

and empowering

will better our lives as women.

guide that we can find in the ancient words of the Bible that applies directly to our life today as contemporary women.” —Shaunti Feldhahn

3


II

The Challenges Blocking Our Path

(A)

The

of life

1.

We are often stressed, overloaded, and tired!

2.

We need a way to balance our lives.

3.

Jesus’ offer . . .

“Understanding the road blocks that are in the way will be key to removing, fixing,

“ Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from

or navigating around

me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find

them.”

rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is

—Shaunti Feldhahn

light.” — MATThEW 11:28–30 (NIV)

(B)

Living

“ Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.

to God’s design and callings on our lives

Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.” —JEREMIAh 1:5 (MSg)

4


you, today’s cu l t u re , and your com p a ss

1.

1

When we live contrary to God’s design, life breaks down.

2.

God has specific callings on our lives.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” — EPhESIANS 2:10 (NIV)

(C) 1.

We need an unchanging reference point.

2.

We need a perfect guide for our lives.

3.

We need what God’s Word says about our design and callings.

(D)

Our desire to be in

“ All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.” — ISAIAh 53:6 (NLT)

(E)

Soft, vague 1.

No deep, practical convictions about life from the Bible

2.

No firm action steps to steady and empower us

“ Having a form of godliness but denying its power.” — 2 TIMOThy 3:5 (NIV)

5


I II

Our Life-giving Compass

(A)

The

is God’s compass for our lives.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man [and woman] of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” — 2 TIMOThy 3:16–17

(B)

(C)

The special direction this compass gives 1.

Heading #1: Our

callings

2.

Heading #2: Our

callings

3.

Heading #3: Our

callings

Taken together, these three headings map out a unique direction God has planned for each of us. 1.

No woman’s life is the same.

2.

Every woman’s life has a one-of-a-kind divine design and purpose.

“To the extent that we live in accordance with God’s design and callings for us, we’ll thrive.” —Shaunti Feldhahn

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the L ORD , “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” —JEREMIAh 29:11

3.

It takes a purposeful decision and bold faith to manage our lives God’s way.

“Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” — hEBREWS 11:6

6


1

y o u , t o d a y ’s c u lt ure , a n d y o u r c o m pa ss

(B)

(C)

(D)

A look at the sessions ahead 1.

In session 2, we’ll explore the compass headings God’s Word gives us for our Life Ready journey.

2.

In sessions 3–7, we’ll explore five important Faith Steps for becoming Life Ready.

3.

In session 8, we’ll summarize all we’ve learned by comparing the lives of two important women in the Bible with their two very different destinies.

Our process 1.

Guided Application Projects (GAPs) will be done within each session.

2.

Small-group discussion will take place at the end of each session.

3.

Optional homework will be offered between each session.

When this study ends 1.

You will be clear about how to find God’s best for your life, and equipped and emboldened to do so.

2.

You will have a personalized “Life Ready Map” (on page 116) for wisely navigating the days ahead.

Are you ready to become Life Ready?

my li fe r ead y map Live from the Inside Out

Embrace a Big-Picture Understanding of Life

Use Wisdom with a Man

Steward Your Gifts from an Eternal Perspective

Believe God, Not Your Fear

What am I doing well?

My Present Location

(A)

What to Expect in the Coming Weeks

My Course Corrections

IV

What do I most need to work on and change?

What New Action Steps do I need to take to move forward and please God with my life?

7


s m a l l -g roup d i s c u s s i on For your small-group discussion, you will be asked to circle up with several women. Your host for this Life Ready Woman series will have discussion leaders assigned to each group to help guide you through the questions below. They can also help you with any concerns or questions you have about this series overall. Please follow one simple guideline as you now interact together: Everyone participates; no one dominates. Enjoy your time together! W hat does “thriving in a do-it-all world” mean to you? What would your life look 1. like if you were thriving in today’s world? Describe it. W hat do you think about the idea that “if we really can’t have it all, all at the same 2. time, we’re going to have to make choices”? What might that mean for you? W hich of the five “challenges blocking our path” to finding God’s best (pace of life; 3. living contrary to God’s design and callings; disorientation; desire to be in control; soft, vague faith) did you most identify with during this opening session? In what ways is this challenge impacting your life right now? 4. Do you struggle with accepting the authority of the Bible? Why or why not? I s the idea that God has a specific design and callings for your life a concept you’ve 5. never considered before? Does it give you a sense of excitement and hope, or does it make you a little anxious? Explain.

8


1 o ption al

ho m e w o rk

1. R ead the introduction and chapter 1 of The Life Ready Woman book (and chapters 2 and 3 if you can). Record any special insights that might apply to you.

2. O ther than the Bible, what do you find yourself using as a reference point for your life (happiness, relationships, money, etc.)? Why do you think you look to those things as signals? What might happen in your life if you relied solely on God’s Word as your reference point?

3. R eflect on Ephesians 5:15–17. In light of session 1, how do these verses speak to you? What about Matthew 11:28–30?

9


my life ready map Live from the Inside Out

My Course Corrections

My Present Location

What am I doing well?

10

What do I most need to work on and change?

What New Action Steps do I need to take to move forward and please God with my life?

Embrace a Big-Picture Understanding of Life


Use Wisdom with a Man

Steward Your Gifts from an Eternal Perspective

Believe God, Not Your Fear

11


LifeReady Woman  

From stay-at-home mom to globe-trotting executive, young single woman to senior citizen, every modern woman has wondered, "How do I juggle i...

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you