Monday, December 29, 2014

Dignity in a Young Woman's Choices~

I was so ready to read this book. 
The concept fascinated me- a book about dignity in young women's lives. 
An understanding of dignity was probably basic about a hundred years ago, yet it's all but lost today. 

When was the last time you heard about dignity? 
If you asked me what I see when you say the word, I'd say "The Queen of England. Excessively formal, quite old, but nice in a fancy-hat kind of way." 
In other words, I don't think of dignity in connection with my own life. 
What is it? Where is it? Do I possess it inside, or do I act it out? 

In this book Rosalie de Rosset, Linda Haines, Stacie Parlee-Johnson, and Pam Macrae come together to point us towards dignity. 

I'd say dignity is our state of being, born from knowing ourselves as God's creation. 
We have a high and holy calling, and we're clothed in Christ. That comes down through our actions and words, and instead of being Queen-of-England formal, we're confidently free. 
We use our discernment to chose the best and our compassion to heal the hurting. 
Instead of being torn in multiple directions, we're whole again in Him, and we can rest in that wholeness. 

They talk about dignity of the mind- using our intellect and powers of reasoning. 
I was eager to reach the chapter Reading as A Spiritual Exercise. If it encourages you to read for soul nurture, check out Gladys Hunt's "Honey for a Woman's Heart." It's a fabulous anthology of titles, from mysteries to theology. It's a pleasure to read all by itself, as you plan your library trips. 

They talk about dignity in leisure, which they define as "time for self-cultivation." I like that. Instead of apologizing for your down-time, learn to steward it well and reap the benefits. 
Books, music, conversation, artwork... all of those fit well into leisure. 

And dignity of the heart- letting the bitter and the sweet draw us toward God. This may have been my favorite chapter... Linda Haines' Longing: From Disparity to Desire. 

They also talk about dignity of the body. I'm glad to see Christians reclaiming modesty and chastity as part of holistic reverence for life. We won't need to make bullet-pointed lists of rules to restrain people when we've captured them with a grand vision and invited them to make it their own. 

Thank you MPNewsroom for my review copy. 

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