Bible Belles: A Beginning
People ask Brent and me all the time, “Hey, how’d you guys come up with the idea for Bible Belles?”
Here’s that story.
We needed a birthday gift for our niece Hannah and thought it would be cool to rewrite the Bible story of the woman who shares her name. Hannah was a great, godly woman and our niece could learn about humility, strength, and trust in the Lord. I wrote the story, and Brent illustrated the cover.
We gave our niece the book, and we were surprised to find out that she and her sister weren’t really familiar with the story of Hannah. We asked around, and it turned out that a lot of girls just aren’t familiar with that story or the stories of many other women in the Bible.
However, the girls we talked to could name all of the Disney Princesses. If they can do that, we thought, why not women of the Bible?
After our “Girls should know about these women” moment, Bible Belles was born. We started working on our first manuscript and, three years later, we are launching our first book: Hannah: The Belle of Prayer.
Belles and Bells
Since all the way back when Bible Belles was just an idea, we always talked about a special connection between Bible Belles and actual bells. I think it comes from the idea that girls today have been indoctrinated to believe that being loud, pushy, and rude will earn them the respect of others.
Once Brent and I decided Bible Belles needed to happen, we began a search for a vision verse in the Bible that contained the word bell that would guide our project. Like I said, we always felt there was this connection between belles and bells, and making noise for the Lord is different than that “noise” girls are taught to make today. Gentle noise, not that “in your face,” sassy sound that has seeped into our homes, schools, TV sets, computers, and pretty much everywhere else.
Strangely enough, we found that verse in Exodus and the story of Aaron.
Aaron, Moses’ brother…Wait, isn’t this a series about the FEMALE heroes of the Bible?
Stay with me.
When God called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, Moses felt unqualified and unconfident. But God told Him not to worry: his brother Aaron was a gifted public speaker, and Aaron would go with Moses to help him relay God’s message.
Aaron was a master of public speaking. That was his special talent. In fact, he was responsible to minister to the people because he had the gifted ability to stir and move an audience.
In the book of Exodus, Moses explains in great detail how Aaron was to dress and carry himself when performing this sacred responsibility. It goes on for pages. His garments were appointed for glory and beauty. Some of the riches materials available were used. He also wore bells and pomegranates.
In reference to the attire that Aaron wore, the verse goes like this:
Exodus 28:35 (NIV)
“Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the LORD and when he comes out, so that he will not die.”
These bells were worn to protect him, to keep him safe, and to prepare him to bring this teaching to the people. With his every move, the bells would ring.
“The sound of the bells will be heard.”
Okay, we found the verse. Now what? We decided to officially launch the company, and Brent and I were most excited to figure out which women to include.
The Ringing of the Belles
But, which stories to use besides Hannah? Which women would He want us to use, and how would we find that out? We thought and prayed about which women of the Bible could be included in a series like this. Originally, we considered many different choices. The more research I did, and the more I prayed about how to approach the writing, the more it became clear.
God put on my heart these names: Esther, Ruth, Abigail, and Deborah. Each of these women can be celebrated for one special quality she possessed that is a key ingredient to forming an authentic understanding of 1) who God is, 2) how much He loves us, and 3) that we all are called by Him to a specific purpose.
Over the next months, these names stayed on my mind. I thought about them. I prayed about them. Why these women, God?
Then, it happened.
I was playing around with the first initial of each woman’s name. I rearranged them a few times, and then it hit me:
H E A R D
Wait. No way. That’s it.
The sound of the belles will be HEARD.
Hannah Esther Abigail Ruth Deborah
Hannah: The Belle of Prayer
The first step in developing a relationship with God is honest and open communication with Him. This happens through prayer and being truthful with Him and with our own hearts.
Esther: The Belle of Patience
Communication with God leads to listening for Him to communicate back to us. It’s important to hear Him, wait for His timing, and then act when and how He tells us to do so.
Abigail: The Belle of Bravery
Inevitably, we encounter hard times or scary situations. We can call upon the courage God gives us to boldly face any problem that arises with the confidence that He will see us through it.
Ruth: The Belle of Loyalty
A life lived in support of and kindness toward others is part of God’s special purpose for all of us. Self-sacrifice and putting the feelings of others before our own are important ways we can show real love to others.
Deborah: The Belle of Leadership
The wisdom to know what needs to be done and to stir action in ourselves and others toward a goal is essential to finding our purpose. Discover the special plan that God has for you and how He might call you to lead.
* * * * *
We’re setting out to present women in the Bible in a way that has never been done before. We want girls to connect with them and find out what being truly beautiful is all about. We want girls to remember their names, their stories, and how special they are.
The time has come. Get ready.
It’s time to teach girls everywhere what it means to be a Bible Belle.