Oct 6, 2015

Book Review // Beauty, Boys, and Ball Gowns

Beauty, Boys, and Ball Gowns
by Olivia Lynn Jarmusch (& 12 contributors)
(check it out on Amazon)

Recently, I was approached by Olivia, the founder of an online magazine for Christian girls called Crown of Beauty Magazine, to review a chapter of an new book called Beauty, Boys, and Ball Gowns. The book is written by Olivia as well as twelve contributors from the online magazine. Fun advise and interviews  from women who are well-known within the Christian community such as Kari Job, Jill Dugger Dillard,  and Moriah Peters are also included in this gem of a book. 

Beauty, Boys, and Ball Gowns is targeted towards teenage girls and covers topics such as singleness, identity in Christ, and how they can be a light within their community. From the chapter excerpt that was emailed to me, I can tell it is a book focused on the Bible and will be very encouraging for teen girls as they wrestle with different fears and worries that linger during teen years and beyond.  It is easy to understand and relatable. As a teenager (many moons ago), I would have really enjoyed this book. 

Olivia used an analogy of our invitation into God's royal family from John 1:9-13. What an awesome reminder that the King of Kings calls us to be His children, to be royalty, not because of anything we have done in our own merit, but because of who He is and what He has done.  Olivia depicts this truth beautifully and this is the bedrock of the book, that our identity as God's children gives us our worth.

I really liked how Olivia explained  that when our eyes are not on the King, they are often distracted by fears, lies, and sin that the enemy Satan tries to use against us. But to re-set our gaze on King Jesus, we are to "seek the kingdom first", as it is said in Matthew 6.  She explains that  "to seek the kingdom is to seek the King.  Jesus is the heartbeat of the kingdom".  And the best way to get to know this King Jesus is through the Bible, which is all about Jesus.  She also shares other ways to persue Jesus including prayer journaling, singing praises to Him on your own along with in communal worship, praying specifically for certain people and praying through scripture, and being intentional about  having times of avoiding media and other distractions to have a "coffee date" with the King where you are focused on Him and meditating on His truths. I like that Olivia was very intentional in showing practical ways to "seek the kingdom".

She then switches to discussing singleness and how God's royal daughters are precious jewels that are set-apart. I loved how she went to the book of Job, where in chapter 28, Job talks about hidden jewels that are only found when searched for, and that only God knows where these jewels are.  God's precious daughters are not display-shelf faux jewels, but rather, they are precious hidden jewels, who God knows and loves deeply. They are set-apart for godly men who will search God first and find these precious jewels in that pursuit. What a comfort that single girls and women are held in the safe hands of God (Psalm 139:10) and He guides them to the right men in His perfect timing. The author encourages single girls that in their "hidden" seasons, when it seems like no prince is in sight, to allow themselves "to be humbled and changed in the hidden, secret place. Dirt is the place that diamonds are discovered. Let God use your singleness to create something breathtakingly beautiful". I know how hard some days were as a single girl in my teens and twenties, and this is such a hopeful way to look at the season of singleness. 

This was a great chapter from the upcoming book, Beauty, Boys, and Ball Gowns. I look forward to hearing more about this book! And I love that these women are donating $5 of each book sale to an orphanage for girls in India! What an encouraging and beautiful project these women put together to come in unity to write a book to strengthen and pour love on young women who will read through the pages! If you have a teen girl in your life (a sister, cousin, Bible study buddy), this is definitely a book to pick up and gift to her! 

Stay tuned for later this week when Olivia does a guest post here at Beautiful Hope Blog!

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Elle Alice