Tag Archive | Joy

Books That Changed My Life #5

QThis book did for me “The Asperkid’s Secret Book of Social Rules” did, only it took it up a notch.

Asperkid’s showed me that I was different, just like many others.

This Book “Q. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”, began to show me how I could make peace with my differences.

In the commentaries before the book began, Adam S. McHugh, author of “Introverts” had this to say – “I think that many introverts will discover that, even though they don’t know it, they have been waiting for this book all their lives.” I found his statement to be empirically true.

I picked it up “By accident” while out of town, waiting for an event to begin. This “accident” went a long way towards the healing of my fragmented heart. Feelings of despair and disconnectedness were about to be faced head on with truth, and put to  rest.

Our entire lives, we are told to be bold, and gregarious and outgoing. This is the gold standard. As a child, I tried and tried to be that. What made other children popular, only manged to get me in trouble. Then whenever I was caught “Daydreaming” or “Doodling”, I was quickly encouraged to “Join in the group” or “Get with the program”. Which, as I mentioned before, got me into trouble. I was reprimanded for seemingly doing as I was told.

What I really had, all those years, without knowing it, was the ability to access some deeper parts of my being than when I was running around TRYING to be an extrovert. The deepness of my heart also caused me to feel the pain of that disconnection to a deeper level. So learning that I was indeed normal; born that way; wired differently, was a great joy to me.

Perhaps the biggest thing I learned from this book was this; Trying to be someone that I wasn’t, for years, had made not only sad and disconnected, but also tired and cranky. Always being what someone else wanted me to be was exhausting to me. Susan Cain gave me vocabulary for that. It wasn’t that I was shy, or didn’t like people. Far from it. I only needed to “Recharge my batteries” after a time.

These days we call it “Self care” or “Time, life balance”. I didn’t know to care for myself, or much less, how to balance anything. Learning that keeping my social circle smaller as opposed to larger, was of great value to me.

Small talk is annoying to me. If that is all there is, I’d rather not speak. That may sound rude, it did to me too, until I realized that it falls under the “Self care” title. One on one, deep conversation actually has the opposite effect, and truly energizes me. Leaving me with far more energy for the people and things that mean the most to me. Saving that energy for them is important for myself and those I come in contact with.

I am a huge proponent of having a place in my day for quiet. Quiescence. Down time. And now I know why. I read this book in 2012. I have been using it’s content ever since.

I could go on and on about this book, but, as Lavar Burton said on Reading Rainbow – “You don’t have to take my word for it.” Read for yourself. There is so much richness here. For me anyway, it’s impact was life changing!

Psalm 139:13-18 (ESV)
13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you.
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This Week’s 5 for 5 Brain Dump Challenge Day 2

The beauty of the 5 for 5? No need to edit as you go. Just free flow writing. So sometimes it’s a mess, and it’s OK.

Go here to find out how it’s done: 5for5braindump.weebly.com

Being alive. Do I notice the sun’s rays in the morning? Do I see and feel the dew on the grass? Do I smell the fresh morning air, before the traffic begins to move? Do I quiess in the silent moments when it seems only the birds are awake?

These are the morning senses. The ones I used to sleep through. Now, they are the ones I can’t wait to experience, the ones I can’t stand to miss.

Part of being alive? Yes. I believe so. It helps me to come alive with a better understanding of who God is. How BIG He is. My mind cannot comprehend.

Just a taste of His glory, for all the world to see, if we will only look for it.

The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the people see His glory.

Psalms 97:6 KJV

 

 

Books That Changed My Life #3

         Eucharisteo. Thankfulness. Live Eucharisteo.

Philippians 4:11-12 (RSV)

11 Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. (Thankful) 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.

one thousand gifts

I never ever thought to be thankful. I was too busy guarding myself from the pain of what I didn’t have.

Through her book, Ann taught me that it is indeed “Holy work” to list what we are thankful for.

Name those things. When you name them, the things you think you lack, cannot haunt you anymore.

Some of the things you may lists, seem inconsequential. Too small to even note. Note them anyway. One to One Thousand. Some will seem larger and more important than others, list them all, you will see, they will add up. The more they add up, the freer you become!

Begin with a pen, or a crayon, or a marker. Use your voice. Use the shutter on your camera. Every word of thanks is a sacred act.

I consider myself a woman of prayer, but Ann showed me that the only way to really BE that, is to be a woman of thanks. I had no chip for that, so it took a while. One gratitude at a time.

And now, I am most grateful for every day. Every breath. Every thing that goes well, and even for every aggravation. Why? Because it gives opportunity to practice EVEN MORE thankfulness.

What are you thankful for? Coffee in your cup? Nuzzling soft baby hair against your cheek? A quiet sunrise? Shoes on your feet? The ability to take a breath or the very fact the you even woke up this morning? ………………………………………

I could go on and on, but it’s your turn. Care to share?

 

 

 

Books That Changed My Life #1

What can I say about this book?

Captivating

 

I place it on a list I call my “Pre” list.

Pre – Awareness.

Pre – Connectedness

Pre – Not knowing who I am

Pre – Knowing who I am

 

 

I was lost and broken, and the worst part, I didn’t even know it!

Isn’t it just the way it is , to long for someone to think you are worth the fight?

Isn’t it just the way  it is, to keep looking for something, not knowing what is is?

Isn’t it just the way it is to retain the hard outer shell to keep from feeling the hurt and loneliness?

Are you normal for wanting anything else?

Before the “Pre” days before the knowing, before the longing, before connecting the dots, I came across a book called “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. It was a book about men. Who they are. What they are. What they need and what they were created to be. For the first time I began to understand my husband, my brothers, and even the guy who changed my oil.  So imagine my surprise when John and his wife Stasi wrote a book, about me.

This book, one I believe every young lady, woman and grandma should read showed me so much.

Mostly it showed me that those longings were normal. That they weren’t meant to be hidden away, but fully explored. Fully felt. It was normal to want someone in my life who thought I was worth the fight.

God wanted me to know exactly how He made me. The longings and desires He has put in me, were to be fully discovered. He wanted them to bring joy and peace to my heart, and if I did it right, I would bring glory to my Father in Heaven as well.

Isn’t wanting anything else being selfish? Isn’t it self serving? I learned that neither of those were true. But I digress.

In the book John and Stasi take the reader one step at a time into the intricate and intimate way that God created a woman.

A truth so hidden by the world we live in, that it can be impossible to find it without God’s help. This is the help I needed. Delivered in a delightful read.

I first found this book in 2005.

I read it, and stewed in it for a long time. Marinated in it if you will. Tenderizing my heart for what was to come.

Click here to find “Captivating” anywhere you buy books.

In reviewing the book for this post, I realized how much I have forgotten in those pages read so long ago. I do believe it’s time to read it again. Anyone want to join me? You can contact me on Twitter @DeborahSPC.

 

 

 

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Balloon Therapy

Recently I’ve felt a bit like a balloon.

A balloon that has been blown up, then deflated.

Then blown up again, only bigger this time.

This has been going on for the last four months.

Each time that balloon has been blown up,

It has been a bit bigger than the last time.

Just when a bit of recovery was felt, the inflation process would begin again.

Each time, I have felt stretched farther than possible.

After each new challenge, I found myself feeling a bit more like a stretched and wilted balloon left behind at a child’s birthday party.

 

It is very common in scripture, for God’s people to come upon circumstances, either random or brought on by themselves, which “stretched” them.

The things they thought they knew were called into question.

The way they did things proved to be requiring a change.

The circumstances they endured made them realize that God was indeed big enough take care of them even in the direst of circumstances.

They learned that when exhaustion knocked on their door, they learned that the joy of the Lord was their strength, that in their own power, collapse was inevitable.

Probably the most important thing they learned was that even if their state of affairs was grueling, taxing and grievous, they could still be joyful.

The details of the first quarter of my personal 2012 don’t even need to be shared.

To be sure, they involved all of the above.

There was challenge.

There was stretching.

I’ve been called to know what I believe and why I believe it.  This will be a lifelong process I am quite sure.

My routines for doing things were totally flipped on edge, causing me to take note about why I do things a certain way.

Speaking the truth when it is not popular to do so can be delicate, but it can be done.  People will not always be happy that you did, but God knows the truth about the love in your heart.

Perhaps even the five minutes you give God each day, can be enough to recharge your batteries.

When you make a commitment, regardless of how large, you do your best even if that means from a distance. 

In the end, keeping your word is something that folks won’t even expect you to do if things change and make it even more difficult. 

God knows.  You still do it.  You do it as unto Him.  It is He who holds the scales.

Often, the reward is not in what you see with your eyes as a result of your difficulty, but a sense that you did what you were supposed to do.  You did it well.  You did your best.

The invisible reward is feeling God’s pleasure.

Philippians 4:12-14 (NIV1984)12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. 14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

Nehemiah 8:10 (NASB)10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”