The Women of Christmas: Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

The Women of Christmas Bible Study Blog | Liz Curtis Higgs

Imagine if Jesus knocked on your door this Christmas Eve, needing somewhere to stay. Would you have a spare bed to offer him, with clean sheets and fresh towels? Maybe a sofa with a warm blanket? How about a well-used futon from IKEA?

Or would you barely crack open the door, embarrassed, apologizing profusely. “Sorry, Lord. My place is a mess. And I really don’t have anywhere to put you…”

Right. So.

This holy season is about making room for Jesus. Welcoming him into our homes, our families, our lives. Flinging open the door to our hearts.

The women of Christmas did just that, lighting the way for us, showing us how it’s done. They anticipated the Messiah’s coming and longed for his appearing. They cradled God’s promises in their empty arms, knowing they would someday be filled.

They said yes. They waited. They trusted. This week, we’ll begin walking in their footsteps.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Away in a Manger

Read Chapter One: Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room
Read Luke 1:5–18

Elizabeth, our first woman of Christmas, descended from a long line of priests. She married one as well, and together they were “righteous in the sight of God.” But their neighbors had another word for this God-fearing couple: “childless.”

So. Hard.

In ancient Israel a woman’s worth was measured by how many sons she could provide for her husband. No sons? No value.

Oh my.

Elizabeth’s challenge back then remains ours right now: How can we stay faithful to God, even when our prayers seem to go unanswered? Whether we’re praying for a baby to hold or a job to keep the creditors at bay, whether we’re asking for our health to be restored or a broken relationship to be mended, we may sometimes wonder, “Is God listening? Does God care? Will he ever respond?”

The answers are certain: Yes, always. Yes, completely. Yes, in his perfect timing.

The Angel Gabriel

The angel Gabriel said to Zechariah, “Do not be afraid.” God is saying that to you as well, beloved. Fear not. I know the desires of your heart. I’ve heard your prayers. Trust me. I’ve got this.

Be assured, when God’s people prayed, “God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place” (2 Chronicles 30:27).

Zechariah doubted. But we have no mention in Scripture that Elizabeth did.

Why did God wait until Elizabeth was older to give her a son? So the glory would be his alone. Miracles are God’s way of saying, “Watch this!” God wanted to be certain the whole world was paying attention.

People said Elizabeth was “unable to conceive” (Luke 1:36), yet God was more than able, more than willing to give her a son. Elizabeth continued saying yes to God. Then, when all was in readiness, God finally said yes to Elizabeth, according to his divine plan laid out before the world began.

That’s the whole of this chapter in a single word: Now.

Take a moment to read this week’s passage in The Voice, a unique translation that gives us a fuller picture of that time and place. Then, I’ll share my answers to one or more of the Study Guide questions featured in the back pages of The Women of Christmas. I’ll be right here when you’re ready…

The Women of Christmas | Liz Curtis Higgs

From the Study Guide

1. Elizabeth is described as righteous, blameless, and honorable. Look through Proverbs 31:10–31, then choose the verses that best describe how a godly woman in biblical times might have lived out her faith in practical, day-to-day ways.

I’m already in trouble, since every verse in this familiar passage describes godly women through the ages! Here are just a few standouts that might suit Elizabeth:

A wife of noble character who can find? Proverbs 31:10
Even in days of old, such women were rare birds, putting character above all else. Rather than caring about how she looked to others, Elizabeth would have focused on what she did for others, taking care to always be above reproach.

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. Proverbs 31:11
As a wife, she would have been trustworthy and generous to Zechariah, consistently delivering on her promises without emptying his coin purse.

She works with wool...

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. Proverbs 31:13
Think of how rough these items would have been on a woman’s hands: freshly sheared wool (makes me itch to think about it), and flax plants that had to be soaked in stagnant water (ewww) to break down the fibers before they could be woven into linen. Yet Elizabeth would have done such taxing work with eager hands. Impressive.

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20
Elizabeth would have undoubtedly given generously to a first-century counterpart of World Vision, providing for those in greatest need. Even if we have no children living under our roofs, we can help care for the children of the world.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
However old Elizabeth might have been, her fear of the Lord was never far from her thoughts, and her love for the Lord never faded from her countenance. While some may have looked down on her for her barrenness, God only looked down on her with love.

Women serving

If you know a modern Elizabeth, what specific things does she do that you find exemplary?

Here’s the crazy truth: two women in my life come to mind who qualify as modern Elizabeths, and both are named…Elizabeth!

These women are both exceptional hostesses, opening their doors to friends and strangers alike. Both have homes that exude warmth, and purses that quietly open whenever an opportunity arises to give. Both honor their husbands and love them dearly, yet have lives of their own, spent serving others. And both women look really good in fine linen and purple!

How might these women from the past and present inspire you to change the way you’ll serve God in the future?

Sadly, I am not a confident hostess. I love being with friends, but am more likely to say, “Let’s meet somewhere,” rather than “Come to our place.” I’ve decided to (gulp) open our door once a week through December. Even if it’s hot chocolate from a box and cookies from Kroger, I’m going for it.

I’m also inspired by Elizabeth’s patience. After years of doing, doing, doing for God, I’m beginning to realize that simply waiting on the Lord pleases him even more. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).

Now it’s your turn

Two simple questions this week:

  • Was there something in Chapter One that struck a chord with you?
  • How does Elizabeth’s faithfulness inspire you?

Kindly share your response under Post a Comment below. I’ll be eager to read what you have to say!

Don’t have a copy of The Women of Christmas yet? Here’s the best price I’ve found online. Consider buying one for a friend and inviting her to join us. Or you might gather with several women for a Bible Study.

However you choose to enter in to this sacred season, I’m so glad we’re doing it together.

Your sister, Liz

Christmas at the Farm with Ann Voskamp and Liz Curtis Higgs

Christmas at the Farm: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas
Watch our webcast anytime!

136 Responses to The Women of Christmas: Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

  1. Beverly Thomas November 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    I was blown away by Zechariah’s doubt!!! I mean REALLY….You are going to encounter Gabriel in the temple, no doubt, and still say you need a sign!!! ….OK…Here’s your sign: Just “SHUT UP”, listen and watch!!! 🙂
    ….So enjoying doing this study with our women’s group!!!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:21 am #

      I hear you, Beverly! Thanks for studying The Women of Christmas with your sisters.

  2. Cheryl Donaldson November 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    How do I view the Christmas at the Farm webinar?

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Thanks for asking, Cheryl! On Thursday, November 21st at 12noon ET, go to this page on your computer: There you’ll find a screen where you can watch us sharing with each other and with you, and we can all chat via text on screen. Don’t you love technology?!

      • Laura November 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

        Liz, will the Webinar be recorded? I’ll be out of town and I so want to listen in, even if at a later time. Thank you for your voice.

      • Terry Weems November 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

        Oh Thanks!!! I have already spoke to one friend that was able to see it today..and was so wanting to view it too!!!

    • Carol November 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

      Yes, I’d like to know how to do that as well. Lovin’ the Christmas blog and the book! Thank you Liz Curtis Higgs!!!

  3. Melissa Smith November 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    I came across your post online and I have to say it’s a lesson that is hard for me as I Identify with Elizabeth, but I’m trying to be obedient and trying to trust God through it. My Husband and I are currently saving for adoption. I know that Zechariah struggled because of the long wait and in the end failed to trust and suffered for it. I don’t think he’s horrible, just human. But having Faith enough to Trust what God says is true and will come to pass matters. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:25 am #

      Zechariah is very human indeed, and his struggles easy to understand. As I wrote in the book, “The loss of speech wasn’t punishment; it was the proof Zechariah had asked for, the assurance of God’s power. ‘If I can take away your voice, can I not also give you a son?'”

      Praying for those savings to grow quickly and your prayer to be answered, dear Melissa.

    • Shannon November 17, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      Hi Melissa- I will be praying for the resources to come! I so identify with Elizabeth. Barren. Spent years of anguishing over the one thing my heart wanted so, a child. Three years ago were we going to take one last shot at getting pregnant (I was 39) but The Lord took us on the path to foster kids. I had no idea if I was equipped but I trusted the One who is. On January 28, 2011 we got the call that has forever changed our life. A two day old baby girl. Here we are almost three years later and a signature or two away from our adoption being complete. I know the pain of the waiting you are going through but do not stop trusting The Lord. Meditate on Psalm 37:4-Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

      The one sure thing I’ve come to understand of my Abba Father, His timing is perfect beyond anything I will ever understand.

      May God bless you and keep your heart still while you wait patiently on Him.

  4. Nicole Shuglo November 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    My heart is truly leaping as I begin this study with you! So many things struck a chord with me- one I will highlight is the thought of setting ‘busy-ness’ aside and embracing Christmas as a “season of renewal” (page 4). Last Christmas, I had completely exhausted myself leading up to Christmas Day & actually got a migraine just as the entire family were arriving for Christmas turkey… NOT GOOD. I was so eager to serve ‘people’ over the Christmas season that I all but left out the guest of honour- JESUS!!. I too, like “Miriam” (p 5) long to be “refreshed anew.” This season I will reflect on the words from Matthew:… My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Time to turn off the oven (those cookies can wait!), let the credit card cool down a little, and seek still moments with my Saviour.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:26 am #

      How wise you are, Nicole. Bless you for sharing your plan with us (and so sorry about your migraine last Christmas!).

  5. Crystal Thieringer November 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    I can relate to Elizabeth. Like her, I’m older and without children–this used to really bother me, but when I look at my life now, I’m (almost) glad. For one thing, I had to learn how to love, and when I was old enough to have children, I hadn’t yet discovered what that meant. I would have messed up my kids, without question. However, God has blessed me nonetheless with several young women that I have the privilege of mentoring. And best of all, some of my life experiences help with theirs. I feel fulfilled. I feel blessed. And though it took me a while to understand it, I know I am precious to God, and he has gifted me with a husband who treasures me. Now I know what it’s like. And I am grateful.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:27 am #

      I am certain this journey has been difficult for you, Crystal, but I REJOICE in seeing how far God has taken you…all the way to genuine gratitude. Well done!

  6. Dorie Justice November 13, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    The happiest women I have ever met are those who have quietly given their lives to the Lord. Their struggles are not always easy, but they seem to have an abundance of love and support around them. I strive to be an Elizabeth, to not question and live God’s will in my life…in His time!

    • Susan Ireland November 14, 2013 at 4:35 am #

      @Dorie, I know , its true , you look back and nothing compares , everyone is attracted to her home, so welcome and cozy , friendly , fun and full of God’s Grace. My granny was one those women .

    • Elisabeth Allen November 15, 2013 at 8:34 am #

      This is beautiful … thank you so much for the reminder of the sort of woman I want to be.

  7. Lori Hawaiian November 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    I so enjoy Liz Curtis Higgs! From Chapter 1: It is a great reminder that we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. We are called to be obedient. And, it’s always a good idea to keep the door open for miracles because God delights us with miracles all the time!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      So right, Lori: God DOES delight us with miracles, many of which we miss for all our busyness. Give us eyes to see, Lord.

    • Tammy November 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

      Lori, so beautifully said.

  8. Shellynne November 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    I looked back at I Chronicles 24 to see more about Abijah – Zechariah’s division. I was struck by God’s math in our story of Elizabeth! Aaron’s descendants were divided into 24 divisions and within each division were however many sons lived at that time I presume. The divisions took turns doing their priestly duties in the temple. Zechariah was from Abijah’s division which was the 8th division. This is a bit mind blowing. Hundreds of years earlier, the divisions are established and the order of their turn in the temple is established. And now at the time John the Baptist is to be born…the eighth division’s turn comes. Not 20 years earlier when Elizabeth would have been young enough that getting pregnant would seem normal and Mary was not even born yet. Not 10 years later when it would be too late for John to Prepare the Way of the Lord. But this year, this month, this day – 8th division’s turn comes and Zechariah is chosen by the casting of lots. A great privilege!. The calculations that it would take starting in I Chronicles 24 to be sure that this would occur is amazing! We serve a mighty God who is timeless! We are doing this study in our church ladies’ study and we are loving it!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:33 am #

      Wow, Shellynne. Only God could orchestrate such a thing!

      One of the many reasons I study his Word is to catch of glimpse of that bigger picture and his perfect timing. It builds my faith and helps me trust him even more. Bless you for sharing this amazing truth with us!

  9. Kristi Parker November 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    I totally get why Z doubted. I find that I always doubt even when God is clear. He recently asked me to do something that i REALLY wanted to do but I asked him to prove himself to me, just like Z.
    Although I am not good at waiting I truly believe that when we wait on God and for his pe rfect timing, we week be amazedby the blessing. I can’t wait to learn more about her!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      Waiting is definitely not what our world encourages us to do. Yet, as you say, waiting on God is always worth it!

  10. Debbie Hudson November 13, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I am so enjoying the book. We are doing this as a Women’s Bible Study on Wednesday nights at our church. I am the supposedly facilitator (kind of a scary thought). I would like share some of the thoughts posted here with my group about to make the study more interactive with my group. Such a great book and am so excited to be reading it! Our group of women have been to Myrtle Beach to see Liz, and have done her Ruth study and 1 of the Bad Girls of the Bible Series…we LUV LIZ!!!

  11. Melanie November 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    The statement in chapter one “God’s strength is fully revealed when our strength is fully depleted.” A most true statement – yet we are always wondering where God is when we feel weak. I cannot imagine how Elizabeth felt after praying so long and how society at that time put such a standard on bearing a heir. I admire her faithfulness of standing by her husband and him standing by her. They must of had a beautiful friendship also. She inspires me to remember God is in control – be patient and he shall answer.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      Elizabeth IS a terrific role model, isn’t she? Glad to have you with us, Melanie.

  12. Pastor Karen Beamish November 13, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    I was really impacted by your one statement, ” After years of doing, doing, doing for God, I’m beginning to realize that simply waiting on the Lord pleases him even more. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).” This is a gentle reminder to rejoice in the waiting period and learn to exercise great patience. I am inspired to follow this study and I decided to share it on our Facebook page, His Healing Hands Church. Praying many people follow this study. Thank you!

  13. Pastor Karen Beamish November 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Oh my…I just realized I do not have the book. Can I follow along without it?

    • Shellynne November 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      There is so much more in the book! I’m sure you can follow the thread, but you’ll miss many of the ‘jewels’ and the deeper thoughts that come with working through a story with Liz. She makes you slow down and really think about each portion of the passage. I highly recommend you pick up a copy if you can!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:39 am #

      I do hope you’ll find something useful in each week’s blog, Pastor Karen, but it IS meant to be an adjunct to the verse-by-verse teaching in the book. God bless you for sharing it with your church!

      • Pastor Karen Beamish November 15, 2013 at 10:11 am #

        Thank you Liz! We get your regular posts through our FB pages and did not know it was to be an adjunct to the book. Now that I know, I can download it. How often will you post on your blog? Was the 13th of November the first part of our study?

        • Liz Curtis Higgs November 15, 2013 at 11:00 am #

          Yes, this is week one / chapter one! The blog post will appear weekly through December 31. To receive it in your email inbox, simply sign up here: Blessings!

  14. Heidi Day November 13, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    First I have to say that I started doing the Ruth book with some girlfriends and they wanted to keep going so we did Bad Girls of the Bible and now we are doing the Women of Christmas. (wish you had a video for this book) And I was just looking for something to do this summer. My first thought was Gabriel was actually one of the named angels and had been in the presence of God. In Zechariah defense, it would be shocking to see an actual angel. And he wasn’t the only old man who doubted an angel. My favorite part however is towards the end of the chapter where you wrote, His power is made perfect in our weakness. He is God and he’s got this! I forget that more than I remember it. Even when it has been evident in my life, when things get rough I forget, GOD’S GOT THIS! My own experience is getting a new job after 7 years of trying to get of the customer service phone line at my job. In three short hours, I was offered a new position and it was all God! And HIS timing not mine.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      So glad we’ve done several studies together, Heidi! Though I was not able to record a video for this book, you can see me teach about Mary and Elizabeth on November 21st at 12noon ET, when Ann Voskamp and I welcome you to Christmas at the Farm:
      Once the webcast premiers, it will live on my website permanently, so you can watch it, or share the link with others, anytime. Blessings!

  15. michelle November 13, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    i have to say that i admire Elizabeth’s trust in the Lord. I recently walked away from a ministry i fully believe in due to what i feel is the lack of support from my pastor and another person. i can’t help but think had i trusted, like Elizabeth, God would have seen me through this time and equipped me with what i needed.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      You can be sure God will still see you through, Michelle. As we often remind ourselves here, he’s got this!

  16. Phyllis Sockwell November 13, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    Joining in on this study with some friends, reading the book, and reading the threads has already blessed me. There are times that we all have doubt and praying for faith and trusting in God should be the first place we go, however, likey many we find that we make ourselves busy and may even create some of the chaos, for example, the expectations we place on ourselves for decorating and finding the perfect gift; when we have the perfect gift of God’s love to share and if we open our hearts and our homes and where we are and who we are to others and share the love, we find that we are all facing different situations we can help each other through with prayer or a listening ear, and we all have blessings and the beauty of Christmas is not the lights or decorations (although they are beautiful and the traditions are special) but the beauty is the Love of Christ that is shared with each other through spending time together and sharing our love during the Christmas season. So, my prayer with starting this bible study is to give thanks for the opportunity to share it with so many other women and my prayer is for patience, faith, and trust in the Lord like Elizabeth’s.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:48 am #

      A beautiful prayer, Phyllis. I’m sitting in our dining room as I write this, imagining who might sit around our table come December. SO excited at the prospect of celebrating Jesus with love and simplicity at the heart of it. Cheering you on as well, my sister.

  17. Robin November 14, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    First, thank you, Shellynne, for your sharing your study on God’s perfect timing in John’s heritage. I was not aware of this historical data. Second, from Chapter One, the sentence that struck me was “‘Your wife Elizabeth’ made it clear that Zechariah was not to seek out some younger, more fertile woman (shades of Abram and Hagar in Genesis 16)” (pg. 16). This human option had not occurred to me. It is said that hindsight is 20/20–good thing that apparently throughout the years Zechariah had not decided to take matters into his own plans. Gabriel’s message also validates God’s value of us individual women despite our age and society’s opinions. As I recall, I heard a missionary years ago state that a message like this is especially important to Muslim women, including that God even knows their name. Third, this morning Elizabeth’s faithfulness encourages me as my husband and I have been praying about participation in an international missions trip (& needing God to work out work details).

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 14, 2013 at 8:50 am #

      Great to know you are on this journey with us, Robin. Praying now as I post my reply that God will give you clear guidance and abundant provision for your missions trip.

  18. Elizabeth November 14, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    I have always loved my name! I was adopted as a baby…so my adopted parents picked my name!!Funny thing is: I was raised in a Jewish home!! I, to this date, am the only “Believer” in my family!!I just got the revelation, after reading this, that: My parents prophetically, without knowing, named me after a woman who helped usher in….Our LORD and Savior….Jesus! The Lord specifically had me named Elizabeth for…..such a time as this! To,” Prepare the way of the Lord!!” ………………………………………

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 15, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      LOVE IT, Elizabeth. You are indeed perfectly named!

  19. mnena November 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Psalm 27v14 got my attention.
    Waiting for God and staying faithful when it seems He isn’t answering us can be challenging, but God knows and that’s why He has encouraged us beforehand to wait on Him, take heart and be strong!
    Complete trust in God, His love and His timing is what we require in every situation.

    • Kim November 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      Love that! Not only wait on Him but do it with a grateful heart which is not always the easiest thing to do.

  20. Kim November 14, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    I think one of the things in chapter one that struck me the most is when Liz wrote “Christmas is so much more than a holiday. It’s a season for reflection, for preparation, for renewal.” With Black Friday creeping in and beginning to take over Thanksgiving Day (a day to be Thanksful, count our blessings with family) I feel we are being encouraged, pushed to get caught up in the hussel and bussel of THINGS. While doing so we are too busy to reflect, prepare, renew our spirit. And one day, one-one hour church service just isn’t enough time to reflect, prepare, renew.
    The other thing that struck me was how Elizabeth never seem to give up. She was persistent. Like Liz said, “wait upon the Lord, to trust Him with EVERYTHING that matters to us, to PRAY UNTIL our prayers are ANSWERED. After praying for a year to have another child and then find out your prayer was answered with identical twins and then to lose them at 13 weeks was devastating (the real test comes when disappointment calls and sorrow pulls up a chair). But I have to remember, like Elizabeth, to be patient and trust Him with EVERYTHING. It’s in HIS timing and design which Elizabeth learned and so must I. I am so grateful I stumbled on Liz’s website a couple weeks ago which led me to this book. I needed this this Christmas season because it’s ALL ABOUT HIM.

    • Karen November 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      I agree with you completely. It is ALL about HIM…… Christmas and every day. I just spent a week with people who are so wrapped up in themselves, their needs and competitive natures, it was refreshing to come home to start this study and be able to share with sisters in the Lord. I am excited for the next chapter!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 15, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      I praise God for your faithfulness, Kim, even through your devastation, and am trusting him to continually comfort and encourage you. So glad you found your way here. Hope you’ll meet many kindred spirits!

  21. Wendy November 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I strongly identify with Zechariah’s unpreparedness. We are told that God always hears and answers our prayers and sometimes God’s answer is “No.” I think that was what Zechariah had decided. God, for whatever reason, had denied Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s prayers for children. Maybe he didn’t understand but he finally had gotten used to the idea. So when God had finished setting the stage and was finally ready to say “Yes,” I don’t think it was surprising that Zechariah was unprepared. I don’t think it was surprising that he was doubtful. Angel or no angel, I’m not surprised that he was afraid.

    I think about times in my life when I’ve prayed for something. Needed a change. Had taken the all the right steps…because “God helps those who help themselves.” And waited. And waited. And. Waited. And decided it just wasn’t going to happen.

    I’ve never been visited by an angel, but I wonder how many times I’ve been presented with an opportunity – God saying, “It’s time now!” – and because I’ve been unprepared, doubting, and afraid, I’ve been blind or, worse yet, seen it and turned away.

    So I hope what I’ve learned and will remember from this chapter is to stay open to what is in going on in right in front of me. Not ignore or turn away. Give God time to say “Yes.” And, like Elizabeth, be faithful, trusting and keep right on praying.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 15, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      Your takeaway from this passage is powerful, Wendy. THANKS for sharing it here.

  22. Lauriann November 14, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    I can’t help but see Elizabeth as one who did not dwell on the past. She had to have been consistently looking to God. She must have believed that His plan for her was the best. Giving of herself to serve others must have been a way of life for her, too, as she does not appear to be one steeped in bitterness and aloofness. She was ‘content to be’ where God had placed her. Ah, such a lesson to grasp!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 17, 2013 at 9:03 am #

      I think you’ve captured Elizabeth’s heart beautifully, Lauriann. She does have much to teach us.

  23. CarolAnne November 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Thank you so much, Liz, for these Bible Studies. Also thanks to everyone who comments. I learn so much from you all! I am in awe of our God. While His timing is perfect, I wonder *why* some answers have to take longer than others. It is so hard to wait when you *think* what you are praying for is what you need at that moment. Patience and persistence shall be written on my palms ; )

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 15, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      I love the idea of “patience” and “persistence” written on each palm, CarolAnne, where we would always see the reminder. It just might result in “peace” written across our hearts!

  24. Diane November 14, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    What a lovely website.
    Happened upon it just a few minutes ago…I was surfing until 6:30 when I pray the rosary that’s broadcast daily on Catholic TV…women of faith have so much to share.
    I’ll be returning here often!

  25. Brenda Taylor November 14, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    The thing that struck a chord with me is that they did not give up on God for something they both desperately wanted. My tendency is to be all charged up for a few weeks or months about something that I have asked God for and then to start cooling down. Thanks to this chapter, I am going to learn to be patient and trusting God that when it is His perfect time, I will be healed. Thank God.
    The Women of Christmas is already giving me a much brighter outlook on the season. Thank you Liz.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 15, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Your words are an answer to my prayer for this study, Brenda. Bless you!

    • Gwen graves November 23, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      The Christmas season has always left me depressed with so many demands on my time and energy! Having your book this year has been a real blessing. Since April I have suffered from a debilitating illness and unable to walk without assistance. I know that God has a plan for me. It has slowed me down so that I have time to study and reflect on God’s Word and with the Christmas season approaching, I find that I am not stressed! I, like Elizabeth, am waiting on the Lord! Thank you for this wonderful book, Liz! Our ladies have used your books for Bible Study. In fact, we studied Bad Girls of the Bible twice as so many of our ladies who missed the first study requested it. Those of us who were a part of the first study are also enjoying it.
      Please pray that my faith will stay strong like Elizabeth’s. And thank you again for The Women of Christmas!!!

  26. Tonya Pait November 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    I loved this quote…” The truth is, God’s strength is fully revealed when our strength is depleted. His power is made perfect in our weakness…” I am so thankful for God’s grace and mercy that covers my questions. ….do I have to endure this?…can’t I just _______? Etc. I am learning to trust His ways more, walk in obedience even when it’s hard, and be thankful in more of my circumstances.

  27. Beth November 14, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    I love that God saw them as childless, and they were given something that surely was a desire of their heart, a baby. Age is not a factor in waiting. God can and will give babies. He did it repeatedly throughout scripture. I love this.

    • Elisabeth Allen November 15, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      Oh, yes, I love this … and isn’t is one of the wonderful things about God?!? That He sees us and our hearts and cares about our heart’s desires. That He can do the impossible and wonderful at any moment regardless of our limitations and issues!

    • Jessica November 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      Very encouraging Beth 🙂 I’m just waiting on God to say “yes” ..”now is the time” 🙂 And I like how you mentioned God gave them the desire of the heart…which is also repeated through Scripture. I think of Psalm 37:4 = Delight yourselves in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart!

      • Beth November 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

        Jessica, if I could just encourage, as an exercise to build your faith, read all the stories about women conceiving in the Bible. Many times they were barren. Often their husbands prayed for them and they conceived. With God, all things are possible. I will be praying for you today!

        • Jessica November 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

          Thank you Beth! That sounds like a good idea. I hope I didn’t mislead you though…I just reread my post & I see where I went wrong. I am not barren (at least not that I know of :), but I don’t want to act outside of God’s will. So while I have a desire to have a kid right now, I’m waiting to hear God say “yes”. Sometimes I get impatient and start to doubt. But you are right, the BIble is filled with inspiring stories…such as Sarah! Sorry for the confusion. Thank you for your encouragement!

          • Beth November 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

            Oooh! Got it Jessica! Sorry I misunderstood! And I understand about timing too!

  28. Mary Bricker November 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    I’ve always loved Christmas. My Mother taught me to make it special. I mean I’m one of those women who go all out, now. The cooking, shopping, presents, decorating, parties, new shiny outfits, family pictures, the tree, etc. The list goes on & on. I’m a planner. I can really get crazy. My whole life I’ve heard, “Mary, you just need to slow down.” I don’t even know what the word slow means. I mean I’m a woman, right. I got to have others rely on me to make them happy, right? WRONG. God had other plans for my womanhood. He wanted ME & not all my stuff I could do. The past 2 years I’ve been separated from my husband. I live 750 miles away from him. Don’t ask, that is a whole other book that I have even started yet. God took me by the hair of my head & tossed me in little ole’ Missouri & said, “Mary Ellen, I want you to stay right here & keep you mouth shut. I’m in control here, not you.” I’ve went through all the stages of death & dying & back over a few of them numerous times. Yep good ole’ denial, & anger those where the hardest. I learn the hard way how to let go & let GOD. What struck a cord with me is when God made Zechariah be quite. Because he knew that good ole’ Zechariah needed shutting up, that’s why. This is about God getting the glory & no one else. I believe that Elizabeth stayed in her house for 5 months because she needed to get even holier still. She had a miracle going on here. She wanted to bask in it. I see her getting closer to her 1st love. She prayed, read her bible, sang, cried, laughed & prepared herself for her miracle. How do we prepare ourselves for a miracle? I’ll answer that one, Not like I should. But I am getting better. As we start this study I pray that all involved get ready for the MIRCLE of CHRISTMAS. God speed!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 15, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      Mary Ellen, you have graciously taught us SO MUCH through all you’ve learned the hard way (is there any other way?!). May God’s love fill your heart, this holy season and always.

  29. Laura pittman November 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    what struck me the most was Eluzabeth’s dedication to Zacharia. The description of her and the Proverb 31 woman is not easily applied to me. Despite her sadness and self doubt about not giving him a son, she provided for all of his needs along with others in the community. Zacharia came before others in the community. Only God was above her love for her husband. I tend to put others before my commitment to my family. I need to relax and follow the path He has set for me and my family without letting my “loyalty” to others pull me aside

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 15, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      Thanks for bravely sharing what God is teaching you, Laura.

  30. Denise M November 14, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    I appreciate all of the historical background that has been presented!
    One thing that stood out that I had never considered before was the list of all of the things that John the Baptist would be / do! We all want our kids to grow up and be something! Wow – this couple not only got blessed with a son – they got blessed with a son extraordinaire!
    As for Elizabeth – she just stayed faithful – she just kept going on.
    I am doing a personal study on prayer right now and am so amazed how God takes all kinds of sources to teach the same lessons – and this book, so far, is no exception to reinforcing the lesson on persistence in prayer – waiting – trusting God.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 15, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      Oh, Denise, just WAIT until we get to Anna, who prayed day and night for decades. What a woman of God! Thanks for reading and sharing with us.

    • Jessica November 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      Hi Denise! I too was impressed with the list of things Elizabeth’s son would become. I do not have any children (yet) 🙂 but that specific passage in Luke is my prayer for my future kids (God willing). How amazing is it that their baby was filled with the Holy Spirit before he was in his mothers womb! Makes your heart smile 🙂

  31. missy November 15, 2013 at 5:15 am #

    It’s about 4:30 in the morning and i found this post just as i sat down with my 6 week old son for ANOTHER feeding. This helped me go from being angry about being up again to thankful that i have this little blessing to keep me up all night. So many women never get to snuggle a sweet baby in the middle of the night but i’ve been blessed twice with 2 amazing children. God really will give us just what we need and at just the right time. Even if it is in the form of inspiring words rather than the extra sleep i’ve been praying for. It’s not what we want, it’s what we need.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 17, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Missy, I remember SO WELL sitting in a dark living room in the wee hours of the morning, nursing a hungry baby, yet longing to crawl back into bed. I’m so grateful to God that he brought you the encouragement you needed at just the right time. Angry to thankful is GOOD, dear sister!

  32. Linda H November 15, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    The statement, “God’s strength is fully revealed when our strength is fully depleted. His power is made perfect in our weakness. He’s a refuge for the oppressed; he’s a stronghold in times of trouble. He is God, and believe me he’s got this!” Always trying to be strong, but failing and feeling weak, these verses remind me that is when God will be able to show His glory in my life! It matters, as it did with Elizabeth, how obedient and faithful I am to my Lord no matter the circumstances! She was blessed because of her faithfulness. She continued to live out what she knew was the right path to serving her
    Lord. An example for me to follow in all areas of my life!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 17, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      She certainly is, Linda. Bless you for having a teachable heart!

  33. Elisabeth Allen November 15, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    I love what you say about all of us being able to help the children of the world even if we don’t have any living under our roof at this time. I think the thing about Elizabeth’s faithfulness that strikes me most is that Elizabeth was faithful even when God, for years, seemed to withhold some of His best blessings. She didn’t stop talking to Him. She kept loving and serving Him faithfully. (And in the end, of course, He gave her John!)

    All the best with your hospitality. I’m sure that your guests will feel blessed in your home! Thank you for the inspiration to step out of my comfort zone and be hospitable too! 🙂

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 17, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      Thanks for the encouragement, Elisabeth. I confess, I once had company over four times in one week, so I only had to deep clean the house once! I keep having to remind myself it’s not about the house or the food, it’s about the fellowship.

  34. Jessica November 15, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    I know many people have already touched on Zechariahs doubt. Liz said “the man wanted proof” (p.17). I know we are not supposed to doubt especially when the message is clearly from God, but God has shown us throughout the Bible that he understands our hesitation & he has even “shown proof” to build their faith. One particular story that comes to mind was Gideon. In Judges 6 he asked God to give him a sign that it was really God talking to Him, & God did just that! A little while later Gideon again asked God to show him proof that he was supposed to save Israel and again, God showed Him proof! Even after this, Gideon still wanted MORE proof and asked the Lord again for a sign on the same issue! And yes, our Lord did just that. He gave Gideon a sign to confirm what he was hearing.

    How amazing is it that our God empathizes with our weaknesses (Heb. 4:15,16) & understands us so well that even when we doubt Him, he still remains faithful and shows us His plan. I know sometimes I ask God for proof or confirmation that what I am hearing is correct, & reading these examples throughout His Word gives me confidence that He will move heaven & earth to show me His will 

    I am very inspired by Elizabeth’s faith. It’s one thing to have to deal with her infertility, but to praise God too? At times, it seems almost impossible to praise God while going through something so difficult. Sometimes I get ancy and frustrated waiting for God to answer my prayers but her example encourages me to hang tight & wait patiently for God to act because Gods plan is so much better than my own. I am reminded of this awesome song by Casting Crowns called “Praise you in this storm”. Click here to listen!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 17, 2013 at 9:29 am #

      So appreciate the examples you’ve shared, Jessica, of people in Scripture asking God for proof and receiving it. YES, absolutely, the Lord can handle our doubts and fears and I think it’s important for us to express them. With Zechariah, God knew the man’s heart, and knew this wasn’t simply doubt but a lack of faith entirely: “This cannot happen, and here’s why.” As I mention in the book, when the Lord plunged Zechariah into silence for a season, it really WAS proof that God can do anything, including blessing Elizabeth’s womb, no matter HOW old she was. Hooray for God!

      • Jessica November 18, 2013 at 10:13 am #

        It’s interesting that we pray to God to do these awesome things, but then when they actually happen, we question the validity of it! 🙂 Glad God is patient with us!

        BTW Liz, is there a way I can tell when you or someone else has responded to my post instead of scrolling through all of the posts each time?

  35. Julie Ramsey November 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Elizabeths faithfulness and her receiving what she prayed for proves that if we trust and have faith God will answer our prayers.

  36. Wendy November 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    I really enjoy reading everyone’s posts. Many of you bring up things that I never would have thought about and it’s blessed me to focus my attention in different direction. It’s amazing how we all get something a little different out of the chapter yet it has spoken so powerfully to each one of us. You gotta love how God can do that for us! I’m really looking forward to the rest of this study. Thanks to Liz and all of you for this study.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 17, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Delighted you are studying with us, Wendy!

  37. amy November 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm #


    I just went and bought the book this evening and have devoured the first chapter. You are indeed God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. I give thanks to Him for you dear sister.

    “Though disappointed and quietly suffering, she held on to God’s promises and clung to the fact that she was God’s daughter, all the while waiting, praying and listening.”

    “Faith is believing what isn’t seen, what isn’t apparent. This wise young woman is quietly leaving a door open for a miracle.”

    These two quotes from your book express places hidden deep within my heart. I praise God that I am His child -that His love for me is sure and unchanging. This alone is more than I deserve and yet there is this longing… this desire… And I pray for a miracle…

    “He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the LORD for generations to come.”

    What an honor and priviledge for Zechariah to burn incense before the Lord. This is something I pray for those I love most dearly and honestly for myself, too. By His grace and power alone, our lives can be a living sacrifice, a burning of incense, a sweet aroma, to our Lord Jesus. May it be so…

    I love how Elizabeth didn’t take matters into her own hand, but quietness and trust, was her strength. Oh, how I could learn from this faithful sister of old.

    That’s why I love these quotes.

    “God is in charge, God can be trusted, and God does everything out of love. Fear not.”

    “The truth is, God’s strength is fully revealed when our strength is fully depleted. His power is made perfect in our weakness. He’s a refuge for the oppressed; he’s a stronghold in times of trouble. He is God, and believe me, He’s got this!”

    I love Isaiah 12:2 and John 14:27 These words of God I long to ingrain upon my heart and anchor me to Him with trust and peace.

    Thanks for sharing your God and His heart through written word. Thanks for sharing your heart and letting me share mine.

    With much love in Jesus

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 17, 2013 at 9:31 am #

      God bless you, Amy, for digging deep, reading with care, and reflecting on each passage that strikes a chord with you. Means SO much.

  38. Lori November 16, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    “God’s power and strength at work in their lives made it possible for them to do the right thing in the first place.” Oh to keep my fingers off of those things I have given to God and to remember my prayer has been heard! Thank you Liz for once again reminding me of the simple beauty of His love.

  39. Cheryl Eastman November 16, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    I agree with you, Liz,. Being a hostess can be challenging. I also signed up at our church to hold our home “open” for drop in sisters and brothers during the Christmas season, though reluctantly (at my husband’s encouragement). I will be concerned that everything be right and appealing, though I can depend upon my husband to handle the socializing department. And I know those who drop in will be gracious and appreciative. Trust God to bring those who should come, and that I will relax and trust Him for guidance and peace.

    Blessed Christmas, sister.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 17, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      We can do this, Cheryl! The definition of hospitality is: “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” Doesn’t say a thing about a tidy house or fancy food. We’re IN!

  40. Kathleen Fisher November 17, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    Our christmas for the last few years have centered around contributing to the children in our children’s program at church that had needs, instead of buying gifts for each other. Last summer, my husband almost died at Tampa General and ended up in their ICU for 10 days. This year, we will still do for the kids, but we want to honor Jesus more, who saved his llife. We have MUCH to be thankful for. It will definately be a very different Christmas for us.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 17, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Gratitude is the very HEART of Christmas, isn’t it? We’re thankful that Jesus came to earth to save us. We’re grateful for family, friends, loved ones. For all that God has provided, we give thanks–not just November 28 or December 25, 2013, but every day of every year. Bless you for sharing, Kathleen.

  41. Alisha Brazeau November 17, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    First of all I just have to say my heart is jumping with joy as I begin this Bible study with all of you beautiful ladies. I have very anxiously been waiting to begin this and to learn more about our Bible.

    I’ am absolutely AMAZED by Elizabeth, I have heard the term Proverbs 31 wife but never really understood it until now. Her faithfulness and love towards her husband and the Lord is undeniable and is absolutely beautiful! I mean, most women have a bad day and want to stray from the Lord because why oh why oh why would he give us a day like that, right?! She wasn’t able to give Zechariah a child yet she was still faithful to the Lord and trusted and believed in him! WOW, just WOW. I love how Zachariah was visited by the Angel being told that he was going to be given John and he still questioned it, as stated above.. Human, just like the rest of us. I suffer from severe endometriosis, when I was 17 I was told to start having children because my years of child bearing were short… 17 way to young. However Im now 24 and have two beautiful little girls who absolutely light up my life. When I did get pregnant I questioned every single aspect and worried the whole time that it was just too good to be true. BUT the Lord blessed me and I am forever greatful, even though I too did question him. Have a beautiful and BLESSED Sunday friends!!! <3

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 17, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      Beautiful testimony to God’s faithfulness and your trust in him, Alisha. Hugs to those two precious girls!

  42. Cheryl Phillips November 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    There is a part of me that is still waiting for something I feel like God said, and I am way past the age that I thought it should happen. Thankful for reading this about this precious couple.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:26 am #

      So glad to offer a word of encouragement, Cheryl.

  43. Tammy November 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    I am so encouraged by all you lovely ladies responses. Elizabeths faithfulness is so encouraging and inspiring. Something to emulate through God’s enabling. I am also impressed at her patient waiting. Our human tendency is to rush ahead of God and take matters onto our own hands.

    I’m always receiving confirmation of God’s leading when I hear the same teaching from ore than one place. Our sermon this morning was on keeping ourselves open to God’s plan and not applying our own agenda. To daily seek His will for our future. Doing this by being faithful one day at a time, like Elizabeth and Zachariah.

    Thanks LIZ for this study, looking forward to preparing room for Him this season.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      Confirmation from the Lord is sweet, isn’t it? A reminder that he thinks about us all the time, cares for us, provides for us. Thank you, Father!

  44. Missa November 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    I love that you are opening your home once a week through December! I will be praying that God sends just the right people who NEED your brand of love and encouragement. I will be praying, too, that you gain increasing confidence with each foray into hostessing. You will be wonderful as long as all that you do comes from your heart, like everything else wonderful about you. 🙂

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:29 am #

      The first gathering is on my calendar: two dear friends in town are coming over for lunch on Monday, December 23. Ta-da! :>)

  45. Diana November 17, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    What I loved most about Chapter One was how much more insight you give to us of Elizabeth and Zechariah. I loved that Elizabeth kept saying yes to God even when her deepest prayer hadn’t yet been answered. Such an example for me as I go through this time with a wayward teenager. I sometimes feel like my prayers are hitting the ceiling for my son, but I know in my heart that’s not true. I identified with Zechariah’s doubts when the angel spoke to him, but I also know that with God all things are possible! I am waiting like Elizabeth for Gods perfect timing! Perfect Word in season. Looking forward to the rest of this study and what God will show me in it! Thank you for this wonderful book and your insight into Gods Word!

    • HYPERACTIVE LU November 19, 2013 at 8:50 am #

      Oh me too!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:31 am #

      I’m praying the Lord will reveal new truths to me as well each week, so I can bring you something fresh to enhance what you’re reading. THANKS for joining us at just the right time for you, Diana!

  46. Amy Kay November 17, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    I am very excited to be doing this bible study via email – a first for me. What I found in this first chapter was a great example of not only how Elizabeth was a godly woman, but that their marriage was a “team” effort. I wonder if the fact that they couldn’t have kids brought them even closer as they prayed together to God about it. Maybe that was also part of God’s plan.
    Thank you Liz for having this kind of bible study – I can read your books all day long.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:33 am #

      You’re touched on something important, dear sister: the way God bonded their hearts through the years without children. Definitely part of his plan!

  47. Della Gorrell November 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    One little question. If Zechariah’s question was lack of faith and he could no longer speak, why wasn’t Mary’s question, also a lack of faith when she asked the same angel, How can this be since I am a virgin? Could you tell me the difference as they both question and they both saw the same angel?

    • Gretchen November 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

      Hi, Della
      I think the difference is that Zechariah was seeking assurance, almost doubting the authority by which it was spoken. Mary’s question was more of a how will this happen? seeing as it typically takes a man and a woman to conceive. I think she believes it will happen she just wants to know how. Zechariah’s is more of a “How can” and Mary’s is “How will” Also, keep in mind, God knows the heart and attitude from which the question is asked. Hope this helps answers your question. Have a blessed day!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      Thrilled that Gretchen was ready with an answer for you, Della, as I was on the road much of this week. Her response is spot on. Zechariah and Mary both asked a question, but their hearts were not in the same place. Zechariah asked for proof, doubting such a miracle was possible. Mary simply asked “how” that miracle would be accomplished. The happy news? God still blessed Zechariah, doubts and all. WOW.

  48. Gretchen November 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    First of all, let me say, Liz Curtis Higgs, you are an amazing author and teacher. I regret that this is the first book of yours I have read. It definitely won’t be the last. It’s beautifully written and as I sat reading, my spirit was calmed and so focused on the Messiah. Thank you for that.

    What stood out to me was that Zechariah and Elizabeth must have had a very God centered and God honoring marriage. Not being able to conceive a child can add a lot of pressure and stress to a marriage. A lot of marriages don’t make it because of that. Only a close walk with the Lord can build a loving marriage that can survive anything.
    Looking forward to this study.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      You and Amy Kay have both revealed a beautiful truth: the closeness of this couple, which months of silence would surely have enhanced. Thanks for your input here, Gretchen. Whatever would I do without my sisters?

  49. Susan Gruener November 19, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    Always love your ‘inside look’, and of course your humor! I was thinking I would rather want to look like Elizabeth than ‘Martha’ any ole day. 🙂 Love that you have all those Elizabeth friends…sounds like “birds of a…I mean “Elizabeths of a feather flock together”. 🙂
    Can I join in?
    Susan Elizabeth 🙂

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Funny, Susan! The three of us gather for “Elizabethan” lunches as often as we can. Seemed the logical duo to invite over for my December hospitality plan. :>)

  50. HYPERACTIVE LU November 19, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    I love the last part, on page 19, “The truth is, God’s strength is fully revealed when our strength is fully depleted. His power is made perfect in our weekness. He’s a refuge for the oppressed; He’s a stronghold in times of trouble. He is God, and believe me, He’s got this!”

    We’ve been in a “trial of sorts” for the last year or so and doesn’t that just sum what we’re suppose to do. Trusting. Relying. Believing. Resting.


    Thank you for writing such a wonderful book. On chapter 3 and loving it!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      “Trusting. Relying. Believing. Resting.” That’s been my much-needed go-to this week as well. Glad you’re on the journey with us!

  51. Kariah November 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    I’m having a hard time figuring out how you found all that out about Elizabeth regarding your response to question 1. That she works with eager hands, gives to the needy, etc… I want to be able to study scripture in that way so I can go beyond the text, but from me reading those verses it looks like all we know about her is she was barren and “righteous before God.” How were you able to figure out all those other things about her? Hopefully my question makes sense. Thank you 🙂

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      Your question makes perfect sense, Kariah (lovely name). Based on Luke 1:6, describing Elizabeth as “righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly,” it seemed appropriate to apply to her life the descriptions found in Proverbs 31:10-31 of “a wife of noble character.” By thinking through how she might put those good qualities into daily practice, we are able to 1) better understand Elizabeth and 2) further grasp what the Lord expects of godly women today. Hope that helps!

  52. Lisa November 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    I think that I was struck by the fact that even from a messenger of God, in God’s house, Zechariah was still filled with doubt. His words in the Voice translation sound very familiar: “How can I be sure of what you are telling me?” “This is hard to believe.” I think that we often find ourselves saying exactly the same things when there are things in our lives which we don’t expect or foresee. However, we are not blessed (or at least I have not been blessed) to have an actual messenger from Heaven to give my message! And as far as Elizabeth goes, bless her for her patience to be married to such a man! Not only did he faithfully serve God and His people, but she also came from the same type of family. The original PK, I guess you could say! She knew what she had to look forward to, and still she followed God’s plan for her life, and stayed faithful to Him, even in tough times. WOW!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs November 23, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Exactly, Lisa…WOW. After years of studying those Bad Girls of the Bible, I’m finding it breathtaking to be hanging out with these biblical heroines. They intimidate me a little, yet they encourage me too. Glad you feel the same!

  53. Ginetta November 21, 2013 at 4:11 am #

    I have just been away a retreat that focused on being Mary in a Martha’s world. What stuck with me is that I am responsible for my time with God and I need to WAIT… on Him. And that means being still and quiet. For a 1st born Martha like me that’s hard, but so rewarding when I give that time to Him. And for me, waiting also means being patient with my self and just be.

  54. Julie November 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    I can see myself a little in Elizabeth…..I love to host parties – get togethers – picnics. I also have a favorite color purple!! Love it!! But for me patience is the hardest…I feel like I have NO patience. I really must work on that! Thanks for a wonderful study!!

  55. Miriam November 24, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    Hi and hugs, Liz!
    I’m loving The Women of Christmas!! Thank you for letting me be apart of it!
    You touched a chord deep in my heart with your words on p15–“‘Calm down!'” “Fear not. Calm down. Why do we fear the worst from God, when he loves us completely and always gives us what is best?” Ye-OW! Lizzie, that’s a whammy right in my heart! Where did we ever get that thought? Could it be from upbringing? Or from words told to us when we were young? ‘Now, be a good little girl and mind your manners.’ I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because we’ve read in God’s Word that angels make a surprising appearance to the people of the Bible! Then they follow with simple words of “Fear not,” knowing that the person receiving the message has a heart racing 90 and up! Maybe we are busy in our own little thoughts and don’t want the apple cart to be tipped?
    You’re right; we shouldn’t fear Him when He loves us so!
    Elizabeth seems to take it all in stride like a swan gliding on the water. She received and believed. Maybe that is from her years of learning to be content and knew how to rejoice in it.
    Sister, I have so much to learn! Love you bunches!

  56. Lisa November 28, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    “God’s strength is fully revealed when our strength is fully depleted”. Amazing how many times I have tried to control the events that have gone on in my life only to realize this statement. I’m feeling so very blessed on this Thanksgiving Day for the Lord’s grace and guidance in my life. I surender all to him!

  57. Sherry November 30, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    I am looking forward to tomorrow morning. Our Women’s Sunday School Class will use your book to study the three women of Christmas. Your book is a God-send to us. I have read the book and was mesmerized (honestly) by how God spoke to me. I cried! I have wondered many times why these women never had a sermon about them. Now they do. Thank you so much Liz Curtis Higgs!!! And by the way, I watch the Christmas video. I think I’ll make some of Bill’s muffins as I study! God bless you!

  58. Paula Clair December 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    I had never imagined the scene with Elizabeth being a part of Zechariah’s big day at the temple. Too often I think I read Scripture and take it at face value. Thank you for making the scene come alive. It creates a real life event. I would have been there for such an event. So was she. Now I can imagine how she felt, not just know the facts.

  59. Joy December 5, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Current circumstances have left me fearful and, at times, unsure of God’s purposes. The angel’s simple prompt to Zechariah “Don’t be afraid!” resonated in my sprit. Your comment regarding it seemed as God’s mandate to me: “Fear not. I know the desires of your heart. I’ve heard your prayers. Trust me. I’ve got this.” I have written in the margin of my Bible as a reminder. Elizabeth inspires me to wait patiently – God will come through!

  60. Lisa Braun December 7, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    I’m a little behind on reading and commenting. 🙂 But I love this book! I love Mary and Elizabeth. Liz, we share the same name with Elizabeth…Elizabeth. ♡ I want to be like her in so many ways and God has been moving in great ways. He’s teaching me love, compassion and having a less critical/judgemental/non-racist spirit in new exciting ways. Elizabeth had such a humble spirit….I love the movie The Nativity…andnive loved being in Israel (4 times) and journeying through that Old Nazareth Village and picturing Mary and Elizabeth’s encounter in that setting. What struck me was how the Spirit moved in her. That’s what I desire! I’ve been leading Bible studies for 20 years and for the first time, God took me into a women’s prison last week to minister to the women there. My heart burned within me…..really burned and I knew I wanted to go back. Next week I go for an orientation there as the prison chaplain has asked if i would go lead a ladies Bible study there in January-March. I know God has been preparing me…even through this book….and I have so much to learn from these women. This is a new area of ministry for me and a bit scary too 🙂 but I couldn’t ignore the burning within me. Mary and Elizabeth couldn’t ignore the Spirit that burned within them either….may I learn much from them. Thank you for doing this study and writing this book. 🙂 Big hugs to you Liz from another Elizabeth in Saskatchewan. I’m thankful for that time we’ve hadtogether face to face at the Women’s Journey of Faith conference in Saskatoon. God bless you sister ♡

  61. Nidya December 9, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    I was touched with Zachary doubts. He had an ANGEL in front of him And he still have doubts. I wonder why I still do the same when times are difficult. I still need to know that God cares about me too. And he has always worked behind me to get me where I am. Nidya from México

  62. jane December 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm #


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