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I recently received the gift of being told that gentleness does not equal resignation but instead “begins with strength” (16).

Of learning that Proverbs 31 was meant not as a check-list standard women were meant to live up to, but as a blessing meant to encourage women already living valorously.

Of being reminded that my worth as a woman is not measured by how well I can cook, how clean of a house I keep, or how many children I’ve mothered (none…).

I recently received a gift in the reminder that true beauty is nurtured throughout the aging process and modesty is something measured not by your hem-length but by your intentions.

The gift of a reflection on how Jesus touched the unclean, took on our frail, bloody flesh, “and to declare once and for all that purity is found not in the body, but in the heart” (171).

It is indeed a gift to submit to one another, of sloughing off enough of your own selfishness to yield to someone else.

It’s a gift to be called to the work of justice – of “repairing the world” – in your backyard, in communities around the world. Of finding your voice while waiting in pregnant silence.

I was recently reminded of the gifts of grace, forgiveness, a new beginning. Of responding in thanks and finding the world vibrant with His presence.

These gifts were wrapped up in The Year Of Biblical Womanhood – Rachel Held Evans’ look at the stereotypes we often mean when we say “biblical woman”. Through her honest writing and sometimes wacky experiments (sitting on her roof, adopting a robot-baby) she wrestles with the Bible’s complexity and women’s diversity. In the end, the whole thing feels like a present – impassioning you to live fully in the life to which you have been called.

Because this book was such a gift to me – I’d love to give it to you.
I’m giving away three copies of the book (in paperback or digital format) – there will be a drawing on October 31, 2012. Leave a comment below and at the end of the day (US Eastern time), I’ll draw three names as winners. Make sure you include your email address so I can get you your copy.

If you don’t win it here, or are interested in a few extras, check out this offer from Thomas Nelson, the book’s publisher.

Whatever way you get it, I hope you find The Year of Biblical Womanhood as much a gift as I did!

**If you hadn’t guessed, the quotes above are from The Year of Biblical Womanhood.