For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-12
Have you ever felt like you were in a state of seeking? Have you felt that God had something in mind for you to do, and maybe, just maybe you weren't there yet? Have you felt restless? I have. When I go to the local bookstore, I am often drawn to the section that features books on finding your spot, your place, your purpose. Maybe it is because the world is so full of opportunities or maybe because I never really had a lot of push in my own natural gifts. Either way, I have honestly searched for direction. Recently I was offered the opportunity to review Jennie Allen's study "Restless." I honestly had never heard of Jennie Allen, but a quick look at her website as well as a look into her book "Restless" and I was ready to go!
Small Group Study -
Restless: Because You Were Made For More
Author: Jennie Allen
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Inc
First let's unpack the study a moment. Basically it looks like this:
DVD Study - Eight Sessions
I began right away with the DVDs which each began with some of the lovely women taking the study. They all answered questions that opened up my own heart. I found myself thinking right along with them and pondering what I was hoping to get from the study. And then entered Jennie.
Jennie's teaching style is great. She is comfortable with God's word and the subject manner. Jennie teaches with a heart that exudes a love for the audience and a deep caring to provide some cheering on for those of us in the race of our lives. The videos were long enough to cover some great points, but short enough to keep you from a wandering mind. The accompanying study guide and cards really helped you delve in deeper as a small group.
I was so taken with the study and so energized to make a change, that although I received the study guide set for free to assist me with my review, I ordered the Kindle version of the book "Restless" as well. I was not required to. I was just so engaged. I didn't even want to wait to see if the book was available at the bookstore. I wanted to book bad enough that I wanted it NOW.
Here's a description of the book "Restless: Because You Were Made for More" by Jennie Allen from Amazon:
Do you feel like you're missing something? What if this feeling wasn’t a bad thing? It could be a longing for more of God and a catalyst to living the life that was designed before the foundations of the earth were laid. A lot of us, if we’re honest, are afraid. We hold our dreams close to our chest. But our passions have a purpose — they were engineered for God’s greater plan and he intends for us to use them for his glory and purposes. In Restless, Bible teacher and fellow struggler Jennie Allen explores practical ways to identify the threads of your life and how to intentionally weave them together. She explains how your gifts, passions, places, and relationships aren’t random; they’re deliberate and meaningful. And your suffering — it’s possible it has produced the very thing you want to give back to the world. Using the story of Joseph, the dreamer, Jennie explains how his suffering, gifts, relationships — all of the threads of his life — fit into the greater story of God and how our stories can do the same. What would happen if God got bigger than your fear and insecurity, and you spent the rest of your life running without reservation after his purposes for you? You were created for more.
"Restless" is a perfect small group Bible study. The box set contains everything a leader will need to lead the study. It is not intimidating. Using the biblical account of Joseph, Jennie guides the reader through a process of finding their own purpose even in their own messy life moments and their own victories. The importance of all aspects of our lives is really highlighted and after soul searching, Bible study, and journaling, I believe the study group will find a lot of answers and motivation. You do have to put the work in, but it is worth it, and Jennie guides you along the way in a very warm and conversational style. God designed you for something special. You are already living a life that has put wonderful opportunities for you in place. "Restless" will help you see them and seize them.
If you do not have a group to study with, I would still recommend this study and the book (plus you might even find places to join in an online study). If you have really almost been restless to the point of distraction, if you have questioned your own life's walk and ups and downs, I believe this book will be a blessing to you. I reviewed the series alone and now am energized to bring this to my friends, women's group and co-workers. I believe they will be as impacted as I was.
Again, restless was provided to me by the publisher in order to facilitate my review. I was not compensated in any other way. The opinion of this study and book (which I am already re-reading) are all my own.
Want to learn more, take a few minutes with this study trailer to learn a little bit more. :)
PS - My prayer for you is that the Lord guides you to His purpose. There are more of us searching than you might think. It is okay to wonder.