Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Women

Author Teresa Tomeo is a familiar syndicated talk-show host that I hear almost daily on my local Catholic radio station. I enjoyed and reviewed her bestseller, “Extreme Makeover.”  Wrapped Up Co-author Cheryl Dickow is new to me but I find her biblical approach a wonderful balance to Teresa’s fact-based fervor. With separate viewpoints, they bring us ten gifts God gives women.

My favorite gift is God’s Gift of a Joyful Attitude. Cheryl writes, “We find true, complete, and lasting joy when we discern God’s call upon our lives in our unique vocation. That is the miracle of seeking God’s perfect and holy will.” She explains that however joy presents itself it embodies God’s love for each of us as a wholly unique creature with a special place in his heart. Joy expresses, “the reality that God is with us in all things.”

Teresa gives her take on joy. “Real joy comes from having less and giving more.” Her statistics show that volunteers (such as pro-lifers) are healthier, happier and they live longer than non-volunteers. They are a gift to others and to themselves at the same time. “Joy is truly the gift that keeps on giving,” while “happiness is fleeting and much more dependent on feelings.”

Her husband’s garden teaches us about the gift of suffering, intertwining it with the analogy of the vine and branches. Pruning hurts, but ideally produces from us a “Thank-you” along with the “Ouch!” We grow when we hold still for God’s special pruning so we can produce abundantly.

Cheryl’s treatment of the Gift of Letting Go started with a personal disappointment and ended with a comparison between the letting go attitudes of Lot’s wife versus Mary Magdalene. When tempted to cling to the past, God’s Gift of Letting Go helps us cling to him and look to the future. Teresa recalled how she had to walk away from the secular media to discover God’s grand aspirations for her.

The Gift of Your Sisters in Faith highlighted a lack in my childhood where I had sisters but not the bonds of sisters in faith when we grew up. As an adult I can relate to many spiritual sisters and recognize that the Holy Spirit makes this sisterhood happen. I know my faith-filled friendships bring richness to my life but Teresa’ statistics show that friendships also can extend my years of life.

The Gift of Setting Priorities involves aligning our will and desires with those of God by eliminating distractions that take our focus away from his priorities for us. The Gift of Being You means taking seriously your God-given talents and your God-given dignity as a woman. Teresa closing encouragement is to share the gift of yourself freely and confidently with the world, wrapped up in the arms of Jesus.

For personal or group study Cheryl and Teresa provide abundant notes and a bibliography, plus a Companion Journal. This book is a classic from Servant Books 2012.

(© 2013 Nancy H C Ward)

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5 Responses to Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Women

  1. DonMulcare says:

    Thanks Nancy,

    Your wonderful essay reminds of this morning’s Gospel reading. The rich young man, sadly walked away because he had grown so attached to his possessions that he couldn’t let them go to enjoy closeness with Jesus. He saddened Jesus, because the Lord has seen the young man’s potential.

    Thanks for brightening my day!

    God Bless,

    Don

  2. Nancy Ward says:

    Thanks, Don. It’s so mysterious how the Holy Spirit works, sometimes it seems double time. I wrote that post before the conference and Jen published it on a pre-arranged schedule. We seldom know the why of what we do and the far-reaching influence our inspired words have. Just keeping writing and throwing it out there for God’s glory!

  3. DonMulcare says:

    Thanks Nancy,

    The comparisons continue. The concept of painful pruning came home, thanks to my tomato bed. What would have been beautiful and tasty fruits went into the trash because of damage. The plants still need cutting back, just like the reading from Judges told of God’s running out of patience with the faithless.

    The responsorial psalm picks up the pro-life theme with a reference to Israel’s embrace of pagan religions: “They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons.” Baal worship then, abortion now.

    God Bless,

    Don

  4. Clency says:

    Hi Nancy,

    Enjoyed reading your article. I am being a girl happy enough after reading your blog as I got to know that I am already gifted with so many gifts from god.

    I like the way you have explained as it actually realized us that we are actually gifted with several god gifts.

    I must say thanks to god for his wonderful and forever gifts!

  5. I am so glad that you enjoyed the book and realized how gifted you are. The author, Teresa Tomeo, is the one to thank. I’m just the messenger writing about her books because she has taught me so much about being a woman in today’s culture.