From the Publisher
Praise for The Blessed Woman
“I have known Pastor Debbie Morris for many years and I am blessed to call her friend. You will find her gracious and giving spirit contagious as you see how God has blessed her as she has surrendered to Him. She truly is a blessed woman of God with a passion to lead women to the heart of God. I highly recommend this book.”
—Karen Evans, host of Marriage Today
“My good friend Debbie has written an inspiring work that links her life story and the life lessons of women in scripture to the needs, dreams and challenges that women face today. This book will encourage every reader to maximize their walk with God in order to understand and experience all He has destined for their life.”
—Dr. Lois Evans
“One of my favorite people has now written one of my favorite new books. In The Blessed Woman, the beautiful Debbie Morris writes candidly and beautifully of her spiritual journey of victory over insecurity and timidity. Along the way she points us to the stories of other remarkable women of faith—challenging and inspiring us as daughters of the King to live lives of meaning, purpose and power. This book is a rare gift.”
—Kari Jobe, two-time Dove Award winner
“Debbie's ministry to women is powerful. The staggering effect her message of hope, love and restoration has on women is evident by the hundreds of lives that are revolutionized under her leadership. The book you hold in your hands will not only take you on a journey with the women in the Bible but will escort you on one of your own - one that will take you to the next glorious level in your relationship with God. Buckle up your seat belt and get ready for the ride of your life.”
—Priscilla Shirer, author and Bible teacher
“The Blessed Woman is a revelation of how God wants to champion His daughters and favor their lives. Debbie Morris takes you on a journey through God's Word to position you for great things!”
—Lisa Bevere, best-selling author & speaker, co-founder of Messenger International
“Debbie pens this book from her beautiful heart. It overflows with love and grace, seeking to refresh and strengthen every woman who reads its pages. This book is a tool to teach, mentor and cheer you on to being all God made you to be. In Debbie's words 'being a woman isn't always easy...' but the wisdom in these pages will definitely make it easier. Thank you, Debbie, for giving freely wisdom that cost you everything.”
—Charlotte Gambill, pastor/speaker
“Debbie’s insights on molding and mentoring God’s rough and unpolished daughters provide inspiring hope for the hopeless. There’s an immediate identification with God’s powerful, feminine mentors of the Bible when we realize God’s heart’s desire is to use each of us in a very significant way. As Debbie says, we don’t realize that our mistakes, weaknesses and lack that we think would cause God’s opportunities to pass us by, actually make us the perfect candidates for His purposes. Truly God is looking for daughters through whom He can show Himself strong and mighty—you and me. Although we’re not qualified in the natural to do what He’s asking, He is more than ready to equip and empower us to fulfill His passionate vision for each of us. Our deficiencies are God’s opportunity to be God of the impossible.”
—Ginger Lindsay, COO, Christ for Nations
"The Blessed Woman" is written with an authentic grace-filled charm that speaks to the heart of every woman at each stage of her life. The book's transparency and vulnerability draws the reader in by chronicling the lives of the author and the incredible women of the Bible, making them relatable and real to us. Pastor Debbie unearths their human frailties, fears and shortcomings, and ultimately their manifested faith and reliance on God, taking them from the conception of their purpose to the birthing of God's vision through them...just like He wants to do with each of us, transforming the ordinary to extraordinary.”
—Lori Ann Biggers, speaker
“Every woman is looking for a mentor, someone to guide her along life's uncertain road. In her book The Blessed Woman, Debbie Morris helps us all to see some of the amazing women in the Bible as mentors. Debbie is transparent and honest as she uses her own journey and Bible truths to guide us in our daily life. I know this book will be a huge encouragement for so many!!! So get one for you, and all those women in your world!”
—Holly Wagner, pastor at Oasis Church, author GodChicks, WarriorChicks, Daily Steps for GodChicks
“Debbie Morris’ The Blessed Woman is a breath of fresh air—and one that will re-fresh every person who reads it, irrespective of gender. Though essentially geared to women, any perceptive reader who loves the Word will be happily surprised at how Debbie is, all at once, both “plain and simple” and “powerfully prophetic!” The content flows from the heart of a pastor’s wife who relates with an enjoyable yet transformational “edge” to her writing—taking the “every day” and turning it into “the stuff of eternity.” This journey offers a pungent study of women in the Bible that will build confidence, grow faith and lead to practical, purposeful living and ministry.”
—Pastor Jack Hayford, chancellor of The King’s University
“Debbie Morris writes with the heart of a true pastor’s wife; I know because she’s my pastor’s wife and my friend. I’ve watched her grow into the role and what a mighty woman of God she is! In this book, she’s transparent and human in a way we can all relate to, inspiring us to step into our own calling and purpose that God has for us. She writes about the dream God birthed inside her to empower women to follow God and how, despite her insecurities, God helped her deliver that dream. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into her shoes and the shoes of many women in the Bible as Debbie takes you on this journey, sharing personal stories and Biblical stories. Every woman seeking God’s blessing should read this book.”
“I love the heart and soul of Debbie. Not only is she an amazing woman of God, she is also a friend! Her passion and commitment to women is inspiring and captured so well in her new book, The Blessed Woman. Debbie conveys a clear vision of empowering seasoned Christian women to become the mentors that God created them to be, as well as redefining femininity. I'm excited to see how her book inspires women to be leaders they are destined to be!”
“Pastor Debbie is one of the humblest and gentlest women I have met. These character traits peg her as a true leader and as such, anything she has to say or write is something I would listen to and take to heart. Debbie’s book will help all of us not only believe in ourselves, but also step into our roles as women to do the things only women can do.”
—Dr. Caroline Leaf, neuroscientist and author
"Debbie Morris has begun the conversation that every Christian woman needs to have. Reading her book I see now how Debbie is so genuinely herself no matter who she is around. She has let the women of God's Word truly mentor and shape her soul and in this book she shows how you can do the same. With mentors like these it is easy to be more shaped by God, and less driven by fear of people. Read it. Then have your daughters read it!"
—Bob Hamp, executive pastor of pastoral care at Gateway Church, author of Think Differently and Live Differently: Keys to a life of Freedom
Read an Excerpt
Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Genesis 4:1 (niv)
Being a woman isn’t always easy. Most of us discover this early in life. But every once in a while, the full realization dawns on us with startling clarity.
For me, the wake-up call came when I was on my way to the hospital about to give birth to my first baby. What an eye-opening trip that was! I’d lumbered to the car feeling calm and competent. Having spent months preparing for the event, I assumed I was ready. Baby showers, doctor’s appointments, and chats with other women about the thrills and
chills of childbearing had left me feeling supported, informed, and able to navigate the natal experience ahead.
Somewhere between home and the hospital admittance desk, however, my confidence dwindled. Looking down at the rotundity that nine months earlier had been my lap, I wondered if I was really ready for this after all. My heart skipped to a quicker pace as I considered my options. Clearly, I had none.
There was no way out of this. I couldn’t change my mind. I couldn’t delegate this task and ask somebody else to finish it for me. I couldn’t even procrastinate. Like it or not, ready or not, I’m going to give birth to this baby today, I thought. And I have no idea how to do it!
Glancing at my husband, Robert, in the driver’s seat, as he confidently gripped the steering wheel and maneuvered his way through traffic, didn’t do much to reassure me. He didn’t know any more about this than I did. Yes, he could deliver me to the delivery room, all right. But from that point on, he wasn’t going to be much help.
Actually, that’s not just a personal observation. It’s scriptural as well. As I realized some years later, I was experiencing a little of what Eve did when she gave birth to the very first child ever born. Her description of the event was simple but revealing: “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man” (Genesis 4:1, niv).
Notice, Eve made no mention of Adam. Apparently, whatever assistance he attempted to give wasn’t worth mentioning. (Some things never change.) From Eve’s perspective, the only one there who truly made a difference was the Lord. God alone could provide what she needed to meet the challenge of becoming the mother of the entire human race.
Eve’s story is so familiar to us that we often take it for granted. But can you really imagine what pregnancy and childbirth must have been like for her? Think of the questions she must have had! Unlike women today, Eve had no example to follow, no mother or sister to explain what was happening to her during those mysterious nine months. She had no books to read about the baby’s development, no childbirth classes to prepare her, no friends to share their experiences of labor and delivery.
When Eve’s birth pangs began, nurses weren’t hovering around her, timing her contractions and reassuring her that everything was going fine. She didn’t have a midwife to rub her back and put ice chips in her mouth. Doctors weren’t tending to her, as they did to me when I delivered my first child, with the efficiency that comes from years of training and experience.
Yet even so, according to the Bible and her own words, Eve was not alone. The all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God was there to coach her, comfort her, and counsel her. And with His help, she did what she was created to do. She fulfilled the mission that had been divinely woven into her very DNA.
Eve stepped into the calling defined by her name, which means living or enliven, and brought forth life.
Can Anybody Show Me How to Do This?
As God’s women, we’ve been getting pregnant and giving birth, following in Eve’s footsteps, ever since. Not only have we birthed children, but we have also birthed all kinds of life-generating things: hopes and dreams, ministries and careers, books and businesses. The list could go on and on. But all too often, we’ve had to walk out the process the same way Eve did: pretty much alone, with only God to help us.
I know what that’s like. When I first married Robert and the dream of ministry was conceived in our hearts, I didn’t have any mentors—and I needed them badly. As a nineteen-year-old bride, plagued with insecurities that had nagged me all my life, I had no idea how to nurture and give birth to the plans God had for us.
Our lives before marriage looked nothing like they do now. Although Robert had rededicated his life a number of times in the Baptist church he attended, he really hadn’t been serious about committing his life to Christ. After one such rededication, someone at the church who knew he’d had a problem with drugs suggested he date a “good girl” to help keep him on the right track. So I was elected—that’s what brought us together.
The first time we went out together, we double-dated with my sister and her boyfriend. They hadn’t yet kissed, and her boyfriend had predetermined that this date would mark the big event. Thus, as soon as the date was over, Robert and I quickly disappeared and left them alone. Slipping around the house to the back door, we started to say our good-byes when suddenly my father surprised us, thinking we were vandals or thieves. Wearing only his underwear—yes, the tighty-whitey kind—he said with a dignity that belied his attire, “Deb, it’s time to come in.”
Mortified, I muttered, “Okay, Daddy,” thinking the date was over. Boy was I wrong! After my father closed the door, Robert kissed me and my whole life changed.
Shortly after we began dating, a local evangelist saw potential in Robert. He took Robert under his wing and opened doors for him to entertain church youth groups with funny skits and to share his testimony. By the time we got married, Robert was already preaching. There was just one problem: he didn’t really know God.
Just nine months after our wedding, our marriage was in trouble and I had no idea what to do to fix it. Robert was miserable. I realize now he was under conviction, but at the time I thought it was my fault. As a new bride, eager to please my husband and be a good wife, I wondered in desperation, What am I doing wrong?
Thank God, one night after preaching a borrowed sermon based on the Matthew 13 parable about the wheat and the tares, Robert began to realize he wasn’t saved. He gave his heart to Jesus the next day and was rapidly and radically transformed.
Although things got a little better at that point, life was still hard. I faced changes and challenges that left me reeling. We had recently moved to a new city where I had only a couple of friends. Robert traveled all the time in ministry, so I went by myself every Sunday to the class for young married believers. I felt like a misfit without my husband at my side. And despite both of us working forty to sixty hours a week, our combined income totaled only six hundred dollars a month.
I knew Robert had a strong call of God on his life. I also sensed that my role, like Eve’s, was to help bring it forth.
Honestly, I had no clue.
Like every woman, I needed a mentor. I wanted someone to walk alongside me, to love me and show me how to get where I needed to go. But I didn’t really have anyone. My wonderful mother just wasn’t the right person for me to talk to at that point in my life. (Now I have a married daughter of my own and I understand why that’s not always best.)
Months later I began working in the offices of James Robison’s ministry; while I admired his wife, Betty, from afar, I hardly felt like I could pick up the phone and say, “Hi, Betty! Would you mind being my mentor?” So I did the only thing I knew to do. I turned to the Bible.
Having memorized Proverbs 31 before I got married, I started asking God to teach me how to be a godly wife. He answered by turning my attention to the women of the Bible. Of course! I thought. Ever since my childhood, the characters of the Scriptures have appealed to me. I’ve never been captivated as much by theology (although I appreciate its value), but I’m fascinated by biblical people and their stories.
As I read and studied about women like Eve, Mary, Sarah, Miriam, and Zipporah, the Holy Spirit began talking to me about them. They became like friends and sisters and teachers. Their examples came alive and the Lord turned them into my mentors. Determined to learn everything I could, to gain all the tips and insights these women had to offer,
I found I could grow through their experiences. I discovered, one revelation at a time, what they could teach me about becoming a grace-filled, life-giving woman of God.
You might say they began to give me grace lessons. Lessons I would be learning and living for the rest of my life.