Saturday, December 11, 2010

Captivating or Captive?

by guest blogger and faithful Inky follower Cheryl Klarich

When I won the chance to guest blog on the Inkwell I was both excited and nervous. What book should I choose? There are so many, and my love of Christian fiction should have made it easy...

But then, my friend Carole gave me Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge.

I was expecting that it would be a good read, but what I wasn't expecting was that I would be challenged in so many areas as a woman while reading this book. I thought that I could finish it after Thanksgiving and give a breezy review that everyone would like.

Instead, I have been working my way through Captivating and living it at the same time. This book is touching me to the core of my being.

It is about femininity, and understanding how woman was uniquely crafted by a loving Saviour, who is also a bride groom and king. It is about the heart and soul, and the desires you had as a little girl that you still have and long for, even as a grown up. Dreams of princes and castles and beauty, the beauty that is in all women, simply because we were created by a loving God, whose finishing touch on his creation, his crowning glory, was woman.

The problem is that doesn't take long for most of the lovely and mysterious princesses out there to realize that if she is indeed a princess, she's one that is in disguise. Perhaps she was dropped off by an evil witch to the wrong home to be raised by people who do not get the princess thing. Did you ever wonder, "Who ARE these people?"

I was five years old when Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella appeared on network television. I couldn't wait for it to begin. I sat enraptured in my daddy's lap in a recliner loving every second, from "In My Own Little Corner" to "The Prince is Having a Ball" to "Impossible"... I didn't want it to ever end. What I didn't understand was why my mother couldn't sit down and enjoy it with us. Maybe if she had allowed herself to enjoy the show she would have felt disappointed with her life. I sensed, even at five years of age that she was a captive, unfulfilled in her life's choices. And I decided that I wanted more for my own life.

John and Stasi Eldredge equate the love of story, fairy tales and happy endings with the desire that God put in our hearts for Him. They invite you to give yourself permission to love who you are, including your personality and wildest dreams.

I think this is a great book for all you novelists out there who are visited with all manner of heroines and plots. Know that they are all beautiful, because they are reflections of you. Embrace them.

It's the Holiday Season, and my Christmas tree is only half decorated, laundry has piled up, and I have to make something for a gathering this evening with friends. So will I fall captive to the pressures of the season, or will I trust my Lord to help me through?

It is a challenging time, but I am resolving to trust in Him and I know that He will bring PEACE... It's worth fighting for.

Captivating is taking me a little further on my journey.


  1. Thanks so much, Cheryl. Great post. I've been looking for a new nonfiction book to read, and this sounds like the perfect one.

  2. Yay, Cheryl!!! Great review of Captivating.

    Several years ago (maybe 8-9) my older sister put John Eldredge's Wild at Heart on HER Christmas list. Didn't make sense because it's a book targeted to me. So I bought a copy for me too.

    I totally credit the Holy Spirit working through that book with helping me confront the father hurt in my life.

    So a few years after reading WaH, I read Captivating. It continued the healing so that my heart was ready for What God Wishes Christians Knew about Christianity, Blue Like Jazz, The Great Work of The Gospel, From Eternity to Here, and a bunch of Beth Moore Bible studies.

    Anyhoo, this past summer I made a deal with a high school girl. She reads Captivating. I'll read, gulp, Twilight. LOL. I'm waiting for her to begin reading Captivating before I'll start Twilight.

    Is there a Captivating workbook? I ought to google.

  3. Wow. Cheryl. How like God to orchestrate you as our guest blogger. You've crafted a beautiful post here and I think you just sold some books!

    I'd love to read this as well. Definitely as a writer and as a woman. My princess-ness got messed up a long time ago and it took while to re-discover my value as a daughter of the King, through a most unlikely path.

    I'm going to go link this to my FB page because I think there are many more of us who need to read this book.

  4. Thanks Dina. I thought of you while reading this- it has a bit of an "inner healing" effect.

    What I especially loved was the emphasis on story and beauty as God intended it to be.
    I would love to hear your thoughts on this!!

  5. Gina!! You are wayyyy to kind! Thank you for helping me post!
    This book covers so much ground that I have a feeling that I'll be reading this over and over again.
    Wild at Heart will be next on my list. Let me know when the Twilight book club begins, I'll read it if you will!

    Love the other recommendations... excited to branch out!

  6. Debra,
    When my friend Carole, a Jewish believer gave this to me I knew it was important for me.

    My prayer was that I could somehow convey the treasure that this book contains so that someone else could join me in this journey to recovery.

    Thank you.

  7. Hey Cheryl! What a wonderful, touching post. Thank you so much for sharing it with us today. I've never read this book, but I know of a few other women who've recommended it and it's been on my "someday" list for a while. I think I'd better move it up to my "real soon" list! I know there are some areas of healing in my life that this book could help address.


  8. Cheryl it's so fun to have you in the "driver's seat" today! Great post. This book sounds fascinating. Thanks you so much for the recommendation.

  9. Hi Susanne. I'm so glad that you are familiar with Captivating. I'd love to hear your comments if you get to it!!

  10. Lisa... you KNOW that the driver's seat is not my comfort zone!!

    But thank you for the encouragement.


  11. That was so wonderful!!! Super proud of you.

    Keep on writing mom. I like to read your posts while I'm away.

    Love you!!!!!

  12. Here! Here! That is a great book! One worth reading over again every so often just to be reminded of God's pursuit of us.

  13. My daughter lent me this book and keeps reminding to read it! I started it, found it interesting but somehow didn't think it was the right book at the right time for me. I think I'll open it again!

    Thanks for your review!

  14. Hi Bex!!! I love your super positive attitude about life, love and all things Jesus.
    Thank you so much for the comment!

  15. Hey Charleybrown!
    You know what? It probably wasn't a "relevant" theme or time for you. Sometimes it takes years for me to get to books, authors, movies... whatever... that have blessed so many friends...

    Awesome to have you stop by!


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