The title of Teresa Tomeo and Cheryl Dickow’s new book, Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Women refers to our being “wrapped up” in God’s love. That can be a hard concept for us women to accept. After all, the world spends a lot of time telling us all the reasons why we are not lovable. God’s love for us is His greatest gift. Tomeo and Dickow are on a mission to challenge the message that the world has for women and replace that with the truth of what God is offering. “That [a woman]ought to be filled with God’s love simply because she is his creature tends to be a notion that doesn’t fit well with the ‘doer’ in her personality. But unless she receives, she cannot give.”
God offers us many wonderful gifts and blessings. Dickow and Tomeo have chosen to focus on the following ten: love, forgiveness, allowing God to be God, a joyful attitude, suffering, letting go, sacramental life, sisters in faith, setting priorities, and the gift of ourselves. For each gift, the two writers each offer their own reflections, Timeless Truths, and Timeless Takeaways.
The writers willingly share the gift of themselves, including their own personal stories and various areas of expertise. Dickow shares the challenge of living with chronic illness, parenting and career ups and downs. Well-known for her knowledge of Scripture and Jewish traditions, she includes role models from Scripture and elements of the Jewish faith to enhance our understanding of God’s gifts and promises. Tomeo includes her own return to the Catholic faith, difficulties in her marriage, and her own career challenges in the world of media.
Dickow and Tomeo invite women to refocus their lives on Who matters and what matters. They speak the truth, and acknowledge that life is often hard. The chapter on suffering is particularly poignant. Not many of us consider suffering a gift, but as Tomeo rightly points out, “It’s not a matter of if you’re going to suffer but when. What matters is how you deal with it and what you do with it.” Suffering can be a gift if we consider the lessons it can teach.
The last gift the two writers discuss is “The Gift of You.” They emphasize that each one of us is an individual, created by God to fulfill a special purpose in this world. So many women suffer from poor self-image. Dickow and Tomeo encourage women to embrace all that women have been created to be. As Tomeo states, “There are no excuses. Rather, there is a grave consequence for playing it safe. Just because we don’t think we are attractive enough, thin enough, wealthy enough, or smart enough does not mean we have license to put off being the best we can be. It is an insult, especially to our Creator, because God doesn’t make junk.”
God has given us incredible gifts to help us on our journey through this life and to fulfill our individual mission. There is also a companion journal available which offers an opening prayer for each chapter, additional reflections, suggestions for Scripture readings, and discussion questions. Wrapped Up is an encouraging, thought-provoking book, perfect for individual enrichment or as part of a group study.