Five Little Questions That Reveal the Life God Designed for You

Five Little Questions That Reveal the Life God Designed for You

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by Dannah Gresh

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When the alarm clock goes off, do you dread the day-hopelessly enslaved to a schedule that strangles the life out of your passions?

Take heart, you're not alone-not even close.

Five little questions. That's all it takes. "I have five questions to ask you," writes Dannah Gresh. "I truly believe that if you slow down and answer them


When the alarm clock goes off, do you dread the day-hopelessly enslaved to a schedule that strangles the life out of your passions?

Take heart, you're not alone-not even close.

Five little questions. That's all it takes. "I have five questions to ask you," writes Dannah Gresh. "I truly believe that if you slow down and answer them thoroughly, you'll have an action plan to live in the fulfilling and adventuresome life that God designed for you."

In this book, Dannah shows you how she found freedom from an over-busy, under-productive life to one that influences thousands. Her practical, doable steps help you move from an exhausting life to an exhilarating one. Five Little Questions That Reveal the Life God Designed for You includes real-life stories about Condoleezza Rice, Mary Beth Chapman, Donna VanLiere, Amy Grant, and others.

"For the woman who wants to reach her potential . . . I highly recommend this book."
-Gary D. Chapman, Ph.D., Author, The Five Love Languages and The Five Languages of Apology

"I started out reading Dannah's book for an endorsement and ended up reading it for me. What a life-changing concept."
-Shaunti Feldhahn, Author, For Women Only and For Young Women Only

"Dannah Gresh is one of the most insightful authors writing today."
-Anita Lustrea, Host, Midday Connection

"Women today are running themselves ragged in the pursuit to find meaning and purpose in life . . . Dannah has penned a prescription for what ails women today!"
-Vicki Courtney, Speaker and best-selling author, Your Girl and TeenVirtue

"Sometimes it's not a matter of having all the right answers but knowing what questions to ask. Dannah helps you identify the questions . . ."
-Lisa Ryan, Speaker; cohost and reporter, InTouch Ministries and 700 Club; and author, For Such a Time as This

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

For Christian women whose lives seem relentlessly overrun by frustration and weary meaninglessness, Gresh (And the Bride Wore White; Secret Keeper) provides pointers toward discovering significance and inner freedom. Gresh, whose style is both winsome and revealing, bares her soul via an ongoing narrative depicting her own struggles with depression, financial debt and a career change. She offers proven biblical recourse for recognizing and realizing God's unique plan for her readers' lives: they must extinguish past fears that stifle progress, find freedom in the midst of trials and difficulties and learn to ask the right questions to achieve profound and lasting change. Evangelical readers will especially relate to Gresh's admonition to first identify any idols—which she calls "fish" in a nod to John 21:15—that come between obedience and intimacy with Christ. She thoughtfully points out that while God might place a vision within a woman's heart, timing and preparedness are all-important. Be poised to let go, writes Gresh, but in the meantime, live in ordinary moments and embrace them willingly. Many Christian women will appreciate Gresh's inspiration and practical methodology in equal measure, and her spirit of camaraderie will influence them to seek growth. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

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Read an Excerpt


that Reveal the Life God Designed for You

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2006 Dannah Gresh
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7852-1244-7

Chapter One

Are You Free to Live the Life God Designed for You?

Twelve years ago, I sat in my doctor's office, dreading the moments to come. How would I explain the drastic dichotomy between the woman she'd seen last night and the real me I'd reveal to her today? I decided not to stay, to blame it on not having enough time to wait ... but the familiar rattle of the clipboard being removed from the door told me it was too late!

"Hello, Dannah," she greeted me. "What a bash last night!"

We made small talk about the grand gala my husband and I had hosted just hours ago. We'd had two hundred dozen white roses flown in from the Rose Bowl parade's growing fields. The hit of the party was the white chocolate dessert boxes with our magazine's logo imprinted in colored sugar. In my sequined gown and with my hair swept into a French twist, I'd presented one of my doctor's brave and pioneering cancer patients with our magazine's Woman of the Year Award. It was quite a bash.

Eventually we turned to the reason for my appointment. The glitz and glamour façade gave way to the dark cloud of emptiness that pervaded my life.

Tears flowed. "Well ... I ... ahhh." I stalled. "I'm so tired all the time. But it's more than that. It's like there's this thick cloud covering me. I feel so ..."

My mind raced for words. I couldn't speak. What was wrong with me? Wasn't I the woman who'd recently led the first community effort to raise thousands of dollars to fight child abuse? Wasn't I a member of the by-invitation-only Junior Club who'd partied our way through a year of craft sales, "duck derbies," and parlor tours? Wasn't it my husband and I who'd brought life to our little advertising market with a magazine and our two radio stations? Wasn't I the one who'd pulled off vacation Bible school when the director quit? Yes I was.

And the dark cloud was there at every event.

Even at home with my "million-dollar family"-one boy and one baby girl-I felt disconnected and confused. I woke up most days wishing I could sleep them out.

"I feel ..." I attempted to speak but still couldn't find the words.

Through my uncontrollable crying I heard pieces of my doctor's kind counsel:

"... depression ... lack of serotonin in the brain ... antidepressants ..."

She handed me a prescription.

"Dannah," she encouraged, "you really need to slow down. Find what really matters and do just that."

Doesn't it all matter? I asked myself on the way home. Isn't that why I do it?

I realized then that I didn't know.

* * *

Are you free to pursue the life God designed for you? Maybe it's a little easier to digest if I simply ask, "Are you free?"

I don't mean to be so personal so fast, but ...

Are you free?

When the alarm clock goes off, do you dread the day? Or do you feel free to rise from bed with passion for what's ahead?

Are you in bondage to a paycheck ... or maybe two? Or are you free to do what you absolutely love with your life?

Do you fear your credit card will be declined because you are shackled to debt? Or are you free from such heaviness, knowing that your bank account is healthy-not necessarily filled to the brim but wisely preserved so that you have confidence in your spending?

Does fear continually lock you in its prison of consuming thoughts over unachieved life dreams such as being married? becoming a mother? running a marathon? getting a promotion? Or are you free to enjoy life just as it is until such wondrous gifts come along?

Are you enslaved to the status and titles of a career? Or could you freely walk away from them if being all you were meant to be required such courage?

Are you afraid you might run into this person or that one because you're enslaved to broken relationships? jobs gone bad? broken business deals? Or are you free to enjoy long-lasting and faithful friendships?

Do you have a sense of guilt over the relationships that are broken (everyone has some) and a lack of resolution? Or are you free to approach God with the wounded places from them?

Are you free?

Transcending Your Packed Schedule

I think the answer for far too many of us is no. The world's paradigm of success has slaughtered our passion and the very core of our purpose. We're like rats on spinning wheels, wondering where we're going and getting nowhere. We're not free. And we fear we never will be.

Do you see it? Do you feel it?

I see it. I have felt it. And I'm not alone.

Half of all women in the United States would like to "transcend their packed schedules to figure out the meaning and purpose of their life." Are you one of them? Make yourself a cup of tea and curl up with me. I can show you how to transcend your packed schedule to find the freedom to pursue your life's meaning and purpose.

You see, I was once in bondage. By the very naive age of twenty-two, my husband and I had started both a family and a marketing agency that served several Midwestern state banks, service agencies, and multimillion-dollar retail chains. The market wasn't well served, so we easily became the regional experts in marketing. By the age of twenty-five we'd added a magazine and two radio stations and were operating a three-pronged company with more than twenty employees. We were collecting marketing awards from the likes of Inc. Magazine, and the state government had recognized our leadership in economic development marketing. Yes, I was driven. And, at the same time, I was hopelessly enslaved to a schedule that strangled the life out of my passions.

I was not free.

I felt it to the core of my being.

Underneath the awards, community positions, cash flow, and church service, I was tired, weepy, sad, confused, and sometimes even angry. Rick Warren says, "People who don't know their purpose try to do too much-and it causes stress, fatigue and conflict." I have known that place of existence. How very enslaved I felt to the pace of it all. The problem for me wasn't that I didn't believe my life had a bigger, better purpose than the chaos I was living in. I just didn't know the practical steps I needed to take to get out of the obligations of my life to pursue the call on my life. It made me angry, tired, and stressed. I felt I might always be one who dreamed of my purpose rather than one who actually lived it out.

Seeking Freedom

A lot has been written on purpose since Rick Warren's record-breaking bestseller The Purpose Driven Life was released. I'm not trying to write a book on purpose. Warren's book, the flurry of related books that followed, and even some that came before, like Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God: Knowing & Doing the Will of God, have certainly done the subject justice.

What hasn't been explained is just how on earth we rise up out of the enslavement of our current situation to reach out for that purpose. How do we find time to pursue God's best when we're locked into a life of routine, debt, and obligations?

I found the purpose of my life, not in pursuing it but in seeking freedom from my fears and overwhelming responsibilities. When I was burdened with the routine life of too many responsibilities and not enough zeros in my paychecks, I'd have never believed that God could actually expand my responsibility to include a national ministry for teens and women plus a ministry to fight HIV/AIDS in Zambia, Africa. I didn't set out to find these things, which every day give me joy and purpose and pleasure. I set out to get free. After I found freedom, God released me-not to less, but to more! The irony of it is this: People think I'm working so hard. They sometimes ask me how I "do it all." The secret is that I've never worked less and achieved so very much. It all came quite unexpectedly when I began to pursue freedom.

We're going to dig into the Bible for truth about freedom. We're going to look at common fears that each of us face as women and that drain us of our passion to live out the life God specifically designed for us. Then, fears laid down, we'll determine if any of the discouragement in your life is God's nudge for you to make some changes because you've designed your own life. (Very dangerous territory. Trust me.) Or if you are living in the purpose of your life but just can't feel it. Finally, we'll get practical. I've got five questions for you to answer in relation to your life. I truly believe that if you slow down and answer these five questions thoroughly, you'll have an action plan to live out the fulfilling and adventuresome life that God designed for you. I just can't wait to see these questions become useful in your life. As you answer each one, you'll uncover gifts you've missed, talents you'd forgotten, dreams that need pursuing, and perhaps even pursuits that need to be dropped.

Best of all, we're going to stand in awe of God and wonder at the secrets we discover about other great men and women of faith. You won't believe the stuff I've dug up about great people of the faith such as C. S. Lewis and David Livingstone. We'll go all the way back to Peter and David. Why, I've even got some scoop to dish out on contemporary leaders-author Brennan Manning and spokeswoman for international adoption Mary Beth Chapman. We're even going to look at today's mainstream Christian models such as athlete Kurt Warner, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, political advisor Karen Hughes, and New York Times best-selling author Donna VanLiere. Their rise from the rat race into the race for greatness inspires me! I think it'll inspire you to join them.

Hold it. Do you fear you cannot possibly put your name on this list? Does it just seem as though you don't belong? Oh my! Is that proof that you're living under the bondage of our first fear?

It's time to unleash some truth in your life!


Excerpted from FIVE LITTLE QUESTIONS by DANNAH GRESH Copyright © 2006 by Dannah Gresh. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Dannah Gresh lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with her husband, Bob, their children, Robby and Lexi, and their Labradoodle, Stormie. The Greshes founded Pure Freedom, a ministry that has provided biblical retreats and teaching resources for more than 500,000 people all over the world. Dannah has appeared as a guest on programs such asFamilyLife Today, The 700 Club, and Focus on the Family.

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Five Little Questions That Reveal the Life God Designed for You 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Five Little Questions' is a must read for any woman whose life has become ordinary. The author communicates in a way that is clear and inspiring and equips the readers with the tools they need to find a life of God-given adventure and fulfillment. The opportunties to journal at the end of each chapter, make this more like a journey of self-discovery than a recreational read. I loved it.