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Made for More: A Review and Interview

Read our interview with author Hannah Anderson and our review of her book, “Made for More.”

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When you find yourself shouting “Yes!” and “Wow!” out loud as you read a book, and scribbling “Amen!” in the margins, you know it’s a good one. That was my experience reading Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image. Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to the author, Hannah Anderson, so that you can take her up on that invitation.

Hannah has written a hope-filled book that injects fresh perspectives into the tired conversation about women’s work and roles. “Wait a minute,” she says, “let’s back up a bit.” Before we hash out any of that, we need to establish a more solid foundation. Those debates can’t take place on the shaky ground of culture and society and competing interpretations of a handful of verses. The conversation has to be rooted in a deeper reality: the fact that women were created imago dei, that the most significant truth about their identity and calling is that of image bearer.

In fleshing out and exploring the glorious implications of imago dei, Hannah covers a lot of ground: idolatry, death to self, eternal perspective, relationships, stewardship, the nature of sin, legalism, union with Christ, generosity and grace, education, the connectedness of body and spirit … yet no chapter feels dry or bogged down. The tone is winsome — it truly does feel like an invitation — and the book is both full of lovely, compelling illustrations and saturated with Scripture. For these reasons, Hannah is able to speak to various branches of the church, to establish common ground in the church’s thinking about women.

My only real criticism is that I wanted more of a bridge between the inspirational and the practical. I felt so validated and energized as I underlined quote after quote — but I also wondered, Okay, how do we live out this lofty vision? What is the way forward, specifically; where do we go from here in living out identity rooted in imago dei? That’s why I hope Hannah is already or will soon be at work on her second book.

In the meantime, she has answered a few questions for Ungrind to whet your appetite. And Moody Publishers has provided two copies of Made for More for us to give away!

How did the concept of imago dei become such a central feature of your thinking and writing? Share a bit about your journey to writing this book.

My journey to write Made for More was a tremendously personal one. When I first entered adulthood, life was pretty easy; I had my nice, neat categories. I knew who I was and where I belonged. And then life happened.

Ten years later, the roles and categories that had once given me security weren’t working anymore. I felt uncertain, out of sorts, and restless. When I looked around, I saw my friends going through very similar struggles. So I started asking myself, What have we missed? What has been absent from the conversation that would explain why so many of us are longing for “more”? It turns out that the “more” we needed wasn’t more opportunity or different roles; the “more” we needed was God Himself.

As I studied and wrote, I realized that a lot of us are engaging in a subtle “bait and switch.” We are doing a lot of good things in God’s name; we are committing ourselves to valuable callings as wives and mothers and aunts and teachers, but we often elevate these roles to the place of God in our lives. We look to these things to give us our core sense of self instead of looking to Jesus. That’s when I realized that we needed to lay the foundation of imago dei — we needed to go back to the very beginning and learn what it means to reflect and represent God on this earth.

You discuss the dangers of identifying first and foremost as women, making womanhood our central focus instead of Christ. Why do you think women’s ministry has so often been restricted to the “pink passages”?

My hunch is that we have unknowingly embraced secular thinking about human identity. For a long time, secular psychology promoted the idea that “biology is destiny” and gender was often used to explain why we are here and what we are to do. Then the 1960s happened. Women began throwing off these biological paradigms in very dramatic and radical ways. In response, many Christians simply doubled down on traditional understandings of what it meant to be men and women. The only problem is that “traditional” wasn’t necessarily biblical.

Scripture clearly teaches differences between men and women, but it doesn’t start with gender roles. It starts with who we are as people made in God’s image and redeemed through Christ. If we don’t keep this as center, we’ll end up with the wrong focus: we’ll focus on discipling women to be “Christian WOMEN” instead of being “CHRISTIAN women.”

It feels like Made for More is only the beginning of an important conversation. Whom do you see continuing that conversation from the imago dei foundation? Do you have any plans to write (or hopes of writing) another book as a “where do we go from here” follow-up?

I’d love to see the ideas of Made for More applied in local church settings — how does the truth of imago dei shape our discipleship patterns? How does being made in God’s image change what we call women to and how we invest in them? There is a lot to be mined here, and I’d love to see women and men exploring these ideas in practical ways.

I do think this is beginning to happen. For example, Jen Wilkin, who recently released Women of the Word, writes from this perspective. Her passion to teach women how to study the Bible is rooted in the understanding that women are made in the image of a thinking, wise God. In order to reflect Him, we must be thinking, wise women. And the only way that happens is through His Word.

I’d love to write more and am currently in a season of processing what it means to be a created being — of embracing the limitations of being human. In many ways, Made for More is this grand, expansive call to understand how amazing it is to reflect God’s nature. On the other hand, we are simply a reflection. We are not the Image. I struggle with this a lot. It’s hard to come to terms with our limitations and to accept that this is precisely what God intends as well. There is only one Messiah and it isn’t us.

Thanks so much, Hannah. May God use your book to stir both women and men to live rooted in their imago dei identity and reflect His glory more beautifully!


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Amy Kannel often suffers from spiritual amnesia, easily forgetting who Jesus is and what He has done for her—so she writes to remember His faithfulness and help others see Him as the Main Thing. She makes her home in the Nashville area and will be forever grateful to the South for introducing her to tomato pie. When she’s not writing, you might find Amy making said pie and other kitchen messes, singing to her four-year-old son, reading with her seven-year-old son, or ballroom dancing in the living room with Mr. Wonderful. And if you'd told her ten years ago that she would even think of mentioning cooking in a bio, she would have declared you certifiably insane…which just goes to show that she serves a God who’s in the business of changing people. You can find more of Amy’s writing at Choosing Hallelujah.

15 Comments
  • Nancy

    What goes God want of me? Why was I created? As I get older I wonder this more and what does He have intended for me to accomplish? I am approximately almost 2/3 of my possible earthly life and I know I haven’t fullfilled what I’d like accomplish, so what else do I need to do for the purpose He made me? These are some of the things I ponder and wonder about.

  • Becky Boerner

    I like the idea of Made for More, and would like to read the book. I struggle with how do I fit, what was I made to do. Looks like a great book.

  • debbie

    I LOVE being a woman and am interested in the ways God made men and women different> Looks like a great book…I love reading books that challenge me to think!

  • Shannon

    I would love the opportunity to say “Yes!” and “Wow!” out loud while reading a book. Thank you!

  • So this looks like a really good book that I’d love to read. I put it on my Amazon Wish list so that whether I win or not, I won’t forget to get this book!

  • Jordan Douglas

    I heard the author doiscussing this book on a radio show and was really interested to read it. I think a new foundation for this whole question is badly needed.

  • Donna Gabbard

    Sounds like a great book. I would love to add it to my personal library.

  • Oh Hannah: How can I not have read your book yet, when there are SO many other things of yours I have read and loved? I need to fix this immediately.

  • Stacey

    This is exactly what I have been digging into. I’d love to read this book.

  • Briana

    Sounds like a book that I would devour! This topic is of supreme interest for me. Would love to win a free copy!

  • Wendy

    love the name of this blog and want to add the book on my list to read!

  • Elizabeth

    I am really interested to read this book soon. The doctrine of Imago Dei has huge implications for every person!

  • Lindsay

    I’ve already bought this book, but I’d love to win an extra copy and work through it with a friend. Thanks for a chance to win!

  • Sarah

    Wow, I’ve been asking these questions and discussing the topic more and more with friends lately. Would love to read this!

  • Laura Sparks

    Thank you for introducing me to new gospel centered books. This life is so foreign to me, and I always look forward to reading behind others on this journey.

Articles

When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds

If your compassion far exceeds your capacity, here’s one way you can be sure to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.

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One of my life verses is Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

It is one of my favorite verses because my heart has been so moved by the love Jesus has for me and the sacrifice He made for me that I am grateful to have a way to express my gratitude through acts of justice and mercy while walking humbly with God.

I have found at times, however, the call to do justice and love mercy come in conflict with the call to walk humbly with God. For me, one of the ways to walk humbly with God is to recognize my limitations. I have to put skin to the fact that I am not God which means saying, “no” to ministry requests. It means going to sleep when I could be spending time advocating for the harrowed and helpless in the world. It means limited seats at my table, limited funds in my bank account, and limited energy in my body cannot be ignored but respected and adhered to.

This is hard for me at times, especially when I scroll my Facebook feed and see friends who are caring for their really sick children, spouse, or other family member all while millions of refugees flee war torn countries and babies are slaughtered by the hundreds each day in our country through the abortion industry.

As I scroll, I receive texts about one family member’s surgery gone wrong and another family member announcing a new baby is on the way. I have in mind my neighbor who has inpatient surgery scheduled this week and another neighbor who is trying to hold down a full-time job, care for twins all while battling profound “morning” sickness.

Folks at church are fighting for their lives in physical and spiritual ways, and strangers who pass me on the road are clearly battling something as demonstrated by their impatient honking because I won’t take a right turn on red. I want to meet the needs of all; I want to do justice and love mercy, but I’m daily confronted by the fact that I am so limited.

What am I to do when doing justly and/or loving mercy seem to come in conflict with walking humbly with my God?

God keeps bringing me to this answer: prayer.

God invites us to cast our cares before Him because He cares for us.
God tells us to be anxious for nothing BUT WITH PRAYER present our requests before Him.
God commands us to pray without ceasing.

And, when I walk humbly with God, I see the immense kindness in His command.
He gives us a way to do justly, love mercy WHILE walking humbly with Him.
It is by praying without ceasing.

I cannot take a meal or give money to every sick person or family I know. I cannot extend kindness to all my neighbors all at the same time they’re in need nor conjure up sustainable solutions for the refugee crisis and contact all the necessary world powers to make it happen.

I cannot heal all, but I know the Healer.

I cannot provide for all the needs, but I know the Provider.

I cannot rescue everyone in need, but I know the Rescuer.

I cannot comfort all the broken, but I know the Comforter.

I cannot speak peace over every situation, but I know the Prince of Peace.

I cannot be all to all, but I can go to the Great I Am through prayer, lay all the people, problems and pleas for help before the Omniscient and Omnipresent God of all Creation.

I can do this through prayer.

Recently, via an Instagram contest of all things, I came upon A–Z prayer cards designed by blogger/author/speaker, Amelia Rhodes. It is a simple concept packed with a powerful prayer punch. It has served me personally in this tension of wanting to do far more than I practically can do. It provides prayer prompts starting with each letter of the alphabet along with a scripture that coincides with the prayer focus. It ranges from Adoption to a creative “Zero Prejudice” for the letter “Z.”

The cards are well thought out, color printed on sturdy cardstock with blank lines for the user to write in the names of people and/or organizations that are personal to them.

If, like me, your compassion far exceeds your capacity, pick up a set of these prayer cards and unload your burdens onto a God whose competence matches His kindness, both boundless.

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Articles

Facing Our Fears in Motherhood

Do you have fears tied to motherhood? If so, here’s encouragement for you.

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“Are you scared?”

I was taken aback by his question. Scared? Of what?

“Of anything,” he answered.

I had just shared my due date with a new class of trainees.

“He has three boys,” another new hire volunteered. So fear is to be expected, I reasoned. I’m just about to face the most frightening experience in my life.

Of course I was scared.

I was scared…

  • I’ll lose my temper.
  • I’ll whine about sleepless nights.
  • I’ll breastfeed too often or not often enough.
  • I’ll leave piles of unfolded onesies in the middle of the nursery floor because I’m too tired (or lazy?) to fold teeny-tiny baby clothes for the upteenth time.
  • I’ll go with disposable diapers when the better choice would be cloth.
  • I’ll work too many long hours at the office and miss precious moments with her.
  • I’ll sign her up for too many activities and push her to become Miss Achieve-It-All.
  • I’ll pass on to her my ugly pride, self-righteousness, and perfectionism like a dreadful contagious disease.
  • I’ll miss countless little joys in life while pursuing worthless dreams.

Facing Our Fears in MotherhoodIn short… I was afraid I was going to fail miserably as a parent.

And now, holding my second-born daughter in my arms, thinking back on that brief exchange just a few years ago, I realize those fears were well-founded. I’ve failed many times. I’ve lost my temper. I’ve raised my voice. I’ve worked too much and played too little. I’ve seen my own sinfulness reflected in my daughter.

Yes, I’ve failed, but over and above it all, God’s grace has covered my parenting imperfections and made me run to the cross day after day. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way:

Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

When it comes to fears, we have two choices: Will we fear the unknown or will we fear the Lord? Will we allow the uncertain to grip us in its clutch or will we turn to God’s Truth to set us free?

Scared? Oh yeah. There was so much to be scared of that day. And even now, if I’m completely honest, there are still fears nibbling at the edges of my consciousness. Fear that we won’t outgrow the temper tantrums. Fear that the two girls won’t get along. Fear that I’ll mess them up and cause them interminable hours on a psychologist’s couch.

I’m sure you have fears, too.

But rather than allow those fears to consume and paralyze us, we can take them to the Lord, acknowledging His sovereignty over our parenting, pleading His grace over our mistakes, and entrusting His provision over their futures. He is not only able to handle it all — He is far more capable to be trusted with it all.

If I say one thing to that frightened 9-month-pregnant me standing in that room years ago, I would say this: Don’t let fear rob today’s joy with tomorrow’s unknowns. Each day has enough worries of its own (Matthew 6:34).

Instead, let us keep seeking God, running to Him as our secure fortress and resting in the knowledge that He will care for us and our children one day at a time.

What are you scared of today? Name your fears and bring them to the Lord, allowing Him to replace them with His peace that passes all understanding.

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Articles

He Gives Shade To The Weary

If anxiety is a struggle for you right now, remember that He gives shade to the weary.

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Do you ever have those moments of fear because you don’t know what lies ahead? When do those thoughts tend to happen to you?

For me, most of those thoughts happen when I lay my head down to sleep at night. The vulnerability comes forth every time. That’s what happened the other night to me. I shut my eyes and immediately anxiety welled up inside me.

What if we don’t succeed in this new venture? What if we have to move? What if we can’t pay our bills?

I laid there with the covers drawn tight over my head (I still think that I am safer if the covers are over my head), praying scripture over my anxious heart. Assuring myself that God sees me and that He cares.

In the morning, I turned to Isaiah 41, specifically verses 10-20.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NASB)

Yesterday, the “what if’s” piled up as I anxiously looked about me. My daughter needs tutoring, however at this point in life, tutoring feels like a luxury we can’t afford. So I listed some items online to sell hoping to make just enough to cover the tutoring. I’m buying groceries on a Visa reward card. I’m holding my breath until the next paycheck comes. But what did God speak over me: Do not fear. Do not look anxiously about you.

“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13-14 NASB)

Why shouldn’t I be anxious? Because God will hold me up. God will help me. When I first read the word “worm” as a description, I took it as a slam against Israel. Like, gesh, God. What animal does He relate me to? But through further study, He calls them a worm because worms are helpless. They are viewed as insignificant, despised and weak. God will help me — seemingly insignificant, helpless me — because He is my Redeemer. He is my go’el — my next of kin. The Redeemer is the one who provides for all my needs. Rent. Car payment. Credit card bill. Gas. Food. Clothes. Debt. God will redeem.

He Gives Shade to the Weary

“Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff. You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the Lord, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:15-16 NASB).

God is transforming me from a helpless one to a powerful one. The description of that type of threshing sledge is like a modern day earth mover. Powerful. Strong. Immovable.

“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 41:17, NASB)

He will come to our rescue. God, Himself, will answer you and me. Can you hear how personal that sounds? Have you ever pleaded with someone important whether your boss, public figure, or even a parent, and they responded to the need themselves? You expected for them to send their assistant, but instead they — the most important one — responded to you.

“I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water. I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress.” (Isaiah 41:18-19, NASB)

This passage describes the wilderness-like times in life. You are barren. You are thirsty. You are hot. You are in need. God will provide what you need. God will quench your thirst. He will provide shade when you are weary. During those times, God can provide in creative, innovative ways. He can provide something out of nothing. Doesn’t that give you great hope? Even when you can’t answer how He will do it, He is creative enough to figure it out even when the odds are stacked against you.

“That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the Lord has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41:20 NASB).

God will do all of this so that His glory will be put on display. People — including yourself — will see that He is powerful.

So you can see how after a night of wrestling with fear and anxiety, reading this was like shade and water for my soul. God is a god who sees. And God is a god who acts on your behalf.

What do you need His help with today? What are you fearful about today? What keeps you awake at night? Where do you need some shade?

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Hi, I'm Ashleigh Slater, founder and editor of Ungrind. Here at Ungrind, it’s our goal to churn out biblically-based encouragement for women. We strive to be honest and transparent about our struggles in a way that inspires hope, faith, and perseverance.

As you read, we hope you consider us friends, the kind you feel comfortable sitting across the table with at the local coffee shop. You can read more about me HERE and our team of writers HERE.

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Made for More: A Review and Interview

by Amy Kannel time to read: 5 min
15