Beautifully Prepared: Restoring Magnificence to Your Purpose

Beautifully Prepared: Restoring Magnificence to Your Purpose

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Overview

The author in this book reflects on the luster of her life filled with wonderful success yet tarnished with feelings of emptiness and sorrow. Many women know this life. We appear good, whole, and complete on the outside while sadness fills the depths of the heart on the inside. We often wonder if we will ever experience complete happiness, joy, or peace in our lifetime. Our soul cries out in anguish.

When we are younger, we take on a barrage of messages, many of which are lies when applied toward the truth of our identity. Monica Schaefer reflects on how a lie twisted her purpose and identity for over 35 years until a crisis required her to face the lie, her shame, and self-hatred.

The journey brought her to the life of Eve and a woman known in the Bible as “the Bride” in the book of Revelation. The mix of written reflections, contemporary portraits and scriptures relays a deeply personal and universal message of an essential truth, relevant to all women. Beautifully Prepared sheds light on the lies, offering hope to readers for happiness, joy, and peace that seemed to have escaped them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942557364
Publisher: Clovercroft Publishing
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 9.70(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Monica Schaefer became the youngest circuit court judge in Tampa, Florida by age 36. She later began a missionary career in Israel, where she met her now husband, Doug. Today, she enjoys the treasures and adventures of raising their daughter in New York City.

Julie Headland is a New England based fine artist. Her portraits push the limits of form and abstraction while maintaining a wonderful likeness of the sitter. When painting she works in a studio on the grounds of her antique farmhouse in Weston, Connecticut where she lives with her husband and four children.

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Beautifully Prepared: Restoring Magnificence to Your Purpose 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
Have you ever read a book and thought, “how does this author know all those bad things about me”? That is how I felt as I read some of the author’s less flattering descriptions of her life or feelings. This is a book that is valuable to women who have believed “the lie”, whatever lie we have believed that kept us from ‘the truth of our identity’. It also shows a glimpse of the author’s journey into who the Lord designed her to be. This book can be used as a series of devotions – whether daily, weekly, or as we can grasp and respond to each truth. With the artist’s renderings on the cover and one as part of each devotion, it can be a coffee table book, or wherever one does their regular devotions. It can also be read by a husband who could be trying to understand the needs of his earthly bride to seek healing from her belief system that did not work. The author is transparent about her own life, as transparent as one who has been set free, and wants others to find that freedom. The author’s journey brought her to see the life of Eve as she believed the serpent’s lie in Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament. She then saw who Eve could be, due to the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The Eve living in the light of Christ’s salvation can be seen in Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, as the Bride of Christ, representative of the Church. The colorful portraits reflect how the artist saw a woman in various stages of her restoration as described through the prose in each devotion. Ultimately, one’s portrait is how it looks to be forgiven and restored to one’s intended purpose. The book is divided into three sections, each one with an introduction. Each devotion includes a scripture, a quote from the introduction to that section, and prose in which the author writes focusing either on the reader or seeing herself through the eyes of the women in scripture. The author asks questions for the reader’s consideration, and some of those questions can bring the reader to squirm uncomfortably. The questions, however, are meant for the reader to consider her own life and see what is necessary for her to grow closer to Jesus, to be restored rather than humiliated. There is a section of scripture quotes that one might choose to meditate on about Eve and about the Bride in Revelation. There is also a list of resources, books written by Christians that the reader might want to go to for additional or in-depth information to assist her on her journey. I recommend this intense set of devotions for every woman who wants to dance with her Bridegroom with joy and freedom. I also recommend it to the spouse of a hurting woman if he wants to understand the journey she is on. It is a worthy read. With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
LanguageTCH More than 1 year ago
Beautifully Prepared is creatively written by Monica Schaefer, who became the youngest sitting circuit court judge in Tampa, and is artistically illustrated by Julie Headland. “Restoring the Magnificence of Your Purpose” summarizes the intent of this work. The author compares the life of Eve, the first woman, to the Bride of Christ, the last woman depicted in the Bible. The lovely portraits and the author’s reflections give glimpses of the transformation of Eve into the Bride. The beauty of Jesus’s love changes and makes complete. The author’s purpose is to break the hold of lies over you and to believe the truth of God so that you may restore the magnificence to your purpose. The author’s honesty and transparency about her own life and struggles enhance the message of the book. There are three sections to the book: Section one is Uncovering the Lie, Section two is Confronting the Lie, and Section three is Pasodoble. Portrait pages with the image coupled with a scripture and reflective thought can be used for daily meditation. At the end of the book the author includes scriptures that inspired the book. These can be used in a personal study of Eve in relation to the Bride. Also at the end of the book she includes a list of resources for study and ministry. This book can be referenced often, used for daily inspiration, or studied weekly by sections. Some of the meaningful quotes from the author are “The images and written reflections in the book testify how true beauty arises through the perfect love of Jesus. The beauty of His love transforms and completes.” “We spiritually rule with Jesus every time we reject self-governance and walk in submission to God’s lead. Each God-led step manifests the glory, sovereignty, and authority of God on earth.” “Jesus knows all about you, including your pain and your needs. He is the only way to complete your needs.” To me, Beautifully Prepared embraces the message of healing and hope. I found this book to be very inspiring and helpful and would highly recommend it. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Beautifully Prepared is a lovely illustrated book that compares the first woman, Eve, with the Bride of Christ from the book of Revelation. This book starts with the author’s own personal story of how, like Eve, she believed the lie, like so many of us that we are just not enough. The author shows how Eve, who had everything, was told a lie and she believed it thus putting her in bondage to the liar. She became a slave. I have just been studying extensively the book of Revelation, so I really enjoyed all the Bible passages that described the Bride and her relationship to her Groom. The complete faith and trust that was so apparent in her relationship to him, because she gave up her self-governance and self-reliance. What really spoke to me was on Pg. 39 where the author talks about what is really motivating us. How do we really know what is truly motivating us? Because everything else but God drives us like a slave. God motivates us with love. This was a beautiful book that showed the contrast between Eve and the Bride of Christ and begs to be placed on the coffee table to be looked at and pondered time and again. The paintings themselves are beautifully abstract and give a wonderful complement to the text. I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully Prepared is a 96 page hard cover, coffee table type book. I did not know anything about it or the author when I received this book to review, but it was a delight. Author Monica Schaefer weaves scripture, words, and art to produce a powerful message. We women are beautifully created by God. Women are their worst critics. We are hardest on ourselves. We tell ourselves we aren't pretty enough, thin enough, or good enough. God on the other hand tells us we are. Schaefer uses her past, her experiences, the Bible, and lovely illustrations to help women better understand who they are and can be with God. How motivating! This is an inspirational book for any woman, young or old. It is well written, beautifully illustrated by Julie Headland, and has scripture throughout. It would be a nice book for a women's group to boost self esteem and encourage a closer walk with God. It would make a great gift. It is uplifting and positive, and those are things we can all use in our lives. This is an easy front to back, one sitting read that will keep readers coming back for inspiration whether for themselves or someone else. I would definitely recommend it. It was rated 5 out of 5 stars by me.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
This book is a wonderful illustration of how beauty, self esteem, Scripture and illustrations can be interwoven. It has a great message to it and every female needs to read it. It has already been read by both my daughters. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
annelr More than 1 year ago
Beautifully Prepared was a pleasant surprise to this reader. Not really sure what was expected but the message of this book by Monica Schaefer is powerful. As women, we often find things about ourselves and our lives that are negative--are lies, and yet we believe them. Schaefer gives a strong Scripturally based argument for dismantling those lies and becoming the beautiful Bride of Christ that God has created us to be. Using her own experiences as background, scripture and thought-provoking illustrations, beautifully drawn by artist Julie Headland, the author's intent is to give women a revelation and understanding of who they can be as they abide in the presence of God. A beautiful book to encourage, and enlighten, one be used meditatively and to be shared. I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
This book was totally different than I expected. I guess I was expecting just a regular book with a story about the author and how she learned to accept herself and see herself as God sees her. Instead this was more of a coffee table style book. It is hardback, doesn't have a lot of words, and has quite a few pictures. It was divided into three sections, each one with a piece of her story. The first one was how she viewed herself before Christ, a bit of her background and the lie she believed about women - their value, importance to God and others, and how that lie affected the way she lived. As the book progresses, so does her thinking, especially after she comes to know Christ and her value in Him. She then realizes that in-spite of her conversion, she still is trying to win favor with God and make Him love her by doing things, performing. After each bit of background, she inserts pages with Scripture verses, and a full page of color - usually a woman drawn by the illustrator to represent the point she is making. The pictures are bold and somewhat abstract but nicely done. The Scriptures apply to the points she is making about women and their relationship to God. Monica includes a lot of verses from Revelation, and although the Scriptures are wonderful, I did not necessarily agree with her interpretation of those particular Scriptures. I know people have different views on the book of Revelation and obviously ours is not on the same plane. Other than that, the book is an encouragement to women to be all that God wants them to be and to see how they are valuable in His eyes. I read this book in one sitting, but I think this book is one you would just leave laying out and pick up occasionally to meditate on. As women we are valuable in the eyes of God, and many times what we learn as we are growing up from media, friends, and even family can influence what we think about ourselves. Picking up this book on occasion to meditate on the verses and enjoy the art could be uplifting if you are struggling with your identity in Christ. I was blessed with this book by the author and bookfun.org in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to review the book positively.
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
As women, many of us suffer with feeling of low self esteem. There are so many things in this world that make us feel inadequate. This book focuses on how we, as women, are all beautiful. God has a purpose for all of us. The illustrations are beautiful. This is a great book to read all at once or read a little each day. I love how she incorporates scripture into each story. I would encourage every woman to read this. I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.