For Such a Time…

We had our last session of our Esther Bible study yesterday morning.

What an incredible journey it has been. Beth Moore made the characters of this familiar story come alive for us—we all were swept up in the story of the unlikely queen. It was made new for us through her vivid imagination and burning passion.

The end of a Bible study is always bittersweet for me.

It’s difficult to say goodbye to the characters I have spent my mornings with for many weeks. I find I need some time to reflect on what I have learned—to hear what God is speaking to me.

The content of the lesson yesterday was very timely for me. Having just celebrated my fortieth birthday (have I mentioned that? :), it seems that lately I am reminded at every turn of the fleeting nature of beauty.

A few days before my birthday, I received a card of well wishes from my health insurance company.

This would have been very thoughtful if it hadn’t listed all the tests and medical procedures they recommend a woman my age to go through.

I mean, really.

That’s just rude.

Then, a couple days later, I received this in the mail:

It was made to look like someone ripped a page out of a magazine, apparently prompted to think of my aging skin when stumbling across the ad.

This world preys on our insecurities.

Yes, it is tough being a woman.

Yesterday, Beth reminded us that although “In man’s realm, time diminishes beauty”, but “In God’s realm…time perfects beauty.”

I don’t know about you, but this is something I needed to hear.

It’s no mistake that the older we get, the more comfortable we are with ourselves.

“If I had known then what I know now…”

Hmmm. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

He has set eternity in our hearts, ladies. We were created for more than this world.

Does that give you a thrill as it does me?

I’m camping there in the coming week.

Each time I look in the mirror and notice how that skin is getting thin and papery under my eyes, I’m going to think of God’s calendar. Not mine.

I am beautiful in His eyes.

Amen.

Wanted to share a little of the celebration we shared to say goodbye to Esther. Part of our Bible study group was able to gather together to have a makeshift Purim feast.

Our sweet host and hostess made lamb kabobs and latkes. We all brought some traditional foods to share.


I made the Hamantashen (Haman’s Ears cookies).

Man were they ugly.

Then we watched the Veggie Tales version of Esther (those veggie tales writers are amazingly creative!) to get our hearts warmed up for the main feature. We shared some giggles and more than one hearty laugh.

Then we watched One Night with the King, which we all agreed was kind of the Disney version of the Esther story. But, who knows? Maybe it did happen that way. Sure was a swooner. There was even a great silhouetted kiss at the end.

It was a pretty special evening.

Here’s our group:

Aren’t we beautiful?

You may wonder what I’m wearing.

One thing we learned that was during Purim, the Jewish people sometimes dress up as some of the characters from the Esther story. This was the closest I could get to royal robes!

Anyway…

I leave this study reminded that I am a woman of influence…that I was placed here, in this little corner of the world, for such a time as this.

Thank you, Beth. You always inspire.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Comments

  1. says

    HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I’m sorry I missed that. 40 is an awesome age. I love being in my forties so enjoy it!!

    All of you ladies look beautiful and what a wonderful time of celebration you had. The photos are great.

    It’s awesome that as a group you shared that time in the Word of God on Esther. There’s much to glean from the Book of Esther.

    Bless you dear sister.

  2. says

    I am pretty sure I forgot that you were doing Esther when I recently made a comment that you should do the study of Esther. Duh…..

    I am getting goofier by the day. I hope everyone just laughs when I do that kind of thing.

    Sounds & looks like y’all ended with such a fun time. What yummy food!!
    I miss the smaller groups because of times like this.
    We needed to meet in the auditorium at church because at first there were nearly 40 signed up. Some always quit…but it was such a good group who really loved the study and appreciated everything so much.

    We will meet Mon. to watch “One Night With The King.” I hope it’s good. I’ve not seen it. The ladies mentioned it and so we’re gonna show it. Maybe the Veggie Tale version was better?? 🙂

    I think you are beautiful Laura and I’m so glad you were able to do this study and glean from so much of what Beth had to say. It was so much more than just the study of “Esther.” Wouldn’t you agree? This study helped us to feel like we aren’t the only ones out there who feel this way.

    I loved “The Red Book!” 😉 Beth is awesome! One of my favorite Bible teachers for sure.

    Have a great weekend!

    P.S. I think your cookies looked good!

  3. says

    Oh sweet! Fun, fun, fun! I saw on the High Calling Blogs network that “The Wellblog” had posted something entitled: “For Such a Time…” So of course I had to check this out! We, too, just finished the Beth Moore Esther study, and we ended ours with a celebration, too. I loved reading about yours. (I told about our little celebration over on my blog, Getting Down With Jesus, a couple days ago.)

    God bless you. May you see that God truly has you here “for such a time as this.” And your Haman’s ears looked great!

  4. says

    What a beautiful way to bring a sweet ending to an awesome study.

    Our group did the same thing, but it happened while I was gone on vacation.

    Love to you, and I so enjoyed the pictures. What a BEAUTIFUL group of women!!!

    Lovingly,
    Yolanda

  5. says

    We finish up our Esther in two weeks. I’m ready for the breather…much to do to bring it to a close with my women. It’s been a good study; learn a ton per usual and am so thankful for good biblical resources that always lead us to the heart of the Father.

    For the record, I think you’re beautiful. I’ve been looking a lot in the mirror lately. I can live with the face, but the belly? Oh bother…I dragged my kids to the mall today to look for an Easter dress. Oh bother…came home empty-handed.

    The older I get, the more content my layers are to hang on to the bitter end. So be it.

    peace to you this weekend and in the week to come as we approach the Easter cross~elaine

  6. says

    Ohhh…thank you Laura for a wonderful post. These words give me a thrill – “He has set eternity in our hearts, ladies. We were created for more than this world.” I, too, have started checking out the papery skin under my eyes, and the sags that have happened along over the last six months or so and must remember that it’s all insignificant in God’s plan that He has for me.

    I have “One Night With the King” and although a bit “Hollywood” for me, it does bring forth a good message. I almost bought the Veggie Tales Esther the other day too for Jasmine. The food looks delicious too, even if the Haman’s Ears look ugly, hehe. I bet they tasted nice!

    xo

  7. says

    Happy Birthday, friend. And how delightful that your birthday lands near Purim. I’ve read that Purim (according to Rabbinic tradition) is the only holiday that will still be celebrated come eternity. Yup, one big party, complete with dress-up!

    I’m about to begin a study of Esther. Just as you are finishing. 🙂

  8. says

    What a fun way to end your study. Looks like you enjoyed yourselves.

    Okay I can’t believe that your insurance co sent you a card with suggested medical procedures, yuck.

    Seeing our beauty through God’s eyes is one I’ve been learning this last few years. The world may tell us one thing, but God’s word tells us another.

    I love being in my 40’s. Enjoy it, after all it’s just a number.

    Love ya,
    Carol

    PS Like the new blog makeover.

  9. says

    You are beautiful alright!! Can’t wait to hug your beautiful self one of these days…did you decide if you are going to She Speaks or not?

  10. says

    Laura,

    the forties are the new thirties… I actually feel prettier now than I ever did as a younger woman. I was so self critical back then. Don’t feel too bad about your mail, I’ve been getting stuff from AARP LOL, I’m only 44! My husband thinks it’s hilarious and is always quick to pass it on to me when it comes!

    You’re post has made me want to go investigate Esther, been awhile since I’ve spent time there

    Have a blessed day,
    Tina

  11. says

    I can’t wait to start Esther! Praise Him for what you have taken from the study and Praise Him for what I am going to receive from the study.

    From my heart,

    Sheryl

  12. says

    I enjoy every Beth Moore study I’ve done, unfortuantely in switching churches recently, she not as welcome as in the past church… but that’s ok, they have plenty of other studies… VARIETY! I never had choices before!

    Of course what do I do? join all of them… Ihave no idea how I manage, working full time and kids. but God I suppose thinks it’s important for me too and we make it work!!

    I still catch her now and then on TV on wednesdays. Beth amazes me.

    as for your birthday… cripes, I wish I looked as cute as you NOW and I have a few years… like a fine red wine, aging with rich beauty! This was a very sweet post.

  13. says

    i smiled all through this post – you are so cute in your royal robes! i’m doing the same study – we’ll have our last session this week and then have a celebration next week – i’m not sure what our leaders have planned for the food but it would be fun if they did the same thing as your group – the food looked yummy! Indeed, your group is beautiful! Stay tuned, the 40s will turn out to be fabulous!

  14. says

    Hey Laura!

    You have really got me fired up and ready to do the Esther study… maybe this summer.

    Thank you for the reminder that although beauty is fleeting in man’s eyes… it is perfected in God’s eyes. I, too, needed to hear that.

    Blessings,
    Lynn

  15. says

    It sounds like you had a good birthday. I had to laugh about the things you got in the mail. I am 16 years older than you, and the one thing that bothers me about aging is the hair on my face. I am thinking it’s time to see about finding out how to get it off without shaving.

    I like what you said about beauty in God’s eyes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *