Wow! What a book!!
This book, honestly may be one of the best books to date that I have read in dealing with myself and my issues, as well as how to best help and handle my kiddos.
It’s broken down into 31 chapters on 31 different topic triggers. The book's intro caused me to launch into reading it with a good frame of mind and a feeling that I was not alone in my struggle with anger. Yes, you read that right, anger. I have a very hard time not springing into this emotion at the slightest thing.
Years ago I had worked very hard emotionally, finding God, finding myself and getting to some of my roots in anger and then literally abolishing them. God had helped me to open up, to recognize and heal. But relapses happen and if you are hit with something like say, your child being diagnosed with cancer, well that kinda derailed my journey and all my progress. Unable to focus on anything other than her illness and the whirlwind that it had brought, well I found myself falling back into old habits in fear and sadness. Leading me to now, where I have let my anger lead my emotions when I become annoyed, over letting God and his desires of parenting lead me.
So when I found this book and the write up on it, I felt a pull to give it a try and see what God had for me within its pages.
I was not let down! Now the cover may be a bit abrupt, but the inside is so literally full of pure Godly concepts in dealing with 31 different triggers that can spring-load anger. Some of them didn’t apply to myself, but I found so many that resonated with me.
A collaboration of two Christian writers, Amber Lia and Wendy Speake,
They take turns writing the chapters and it is truly a beautiful relationship through the book's pages.
I honestly could take forever and tell you so many things I’d made notes on and underlined and highlighted in these pages, but that would take, well forever and probably also end up being some form of plagiarism (haha)! I want to engage you enough to want to read it; not spoil it for you. So here goes:
Chapter one. Let's start at the beginning! It's entitled Disobedience, and I don't know about you but this is a HUGE trigger for me personally! Allowing external things to get to me and catapult me into anger and yelling responses. It's a mess every time and has actually gotten pretty bad around our house as of late. It drives me up the wall when my kids don't listen to me. And honestly, it drives me up the wall that I can't make them listen to me!
In this chapter, they brought about a new-to-me line of thinking on the subject. God gives me, and all of us, 70 times 7 chances at everything we do. What if we actually took the moments of, “What the heck are you thinking?” behavior and turned it into a grace opportunity. An opportunity to be Christ-like to our kids. Now don’t get me wrong, discipline is important. But as they come back to in this book many a time, calm discipline is what will work. Immediate consequences in acts of haste due to anger, only teach our kids that behavior themselves.
An excerpt from this chapter that gave me true pause and began lighting a fire of renewal in my heart was this, ”God wants us to obey because obedience gives birth to blessings. We will always be the better for it when we obey the first time. I have heard others say that if our kids don’t obey immediately, then we must punish them immediately. And yet, time and time again in Scripture, we see the long suffering and compassion of God toward His stubborn and wayward people.”
I honestly had one of those ah-ha moments with these words! How could I be so blind? Too often I blame my kids behavior for my own responses and I have even said as much to them, “When you act like this, it makes mommy mad!” But why? Why does it have to be that way. Easy, it doesn’t.
This book was not about how to manipulate our kids with certain do’s and do not’s. It was written to bring light to those hidden dark parts of ourselves that the anger springs from. The calling out of the “trigger”. And guys, I was blessed.
Now I’m not perfect, far from it. But the calling out of these shortcomings in myself woke up a part of me. Lit a fire in my heart and I became more aware. Calling out these shortcomings brings light to them and once that is there in front of me, I feel like I have something I can tackle. An enemy I can work against and allow myself to focus on my behaviour. Something I can pray over and strive to better myself in. This book was brilliant for that.
I just loved the Godly focus through it’s pages. That each and every chapter was fortified with verses from His Word and ended in a prayer to help us get started in our journey.
Moving on, to the end. In chapter 31 they address Guilt. This is a huge one I really struggle with internally. Because the moment I loose it, I rehash it over and over. I allow Satan to beat me down with it. And I worry. I worry in my guilt about how I have set my kids up for failure by being such a terrible mother. Chapter 31 had a beautiful quote that I underlined and highlighted hoping it would burn into my brain. “How do you know if you are feeling an unhealthy guilt verses a righteous conviction? Guilt defeats. Conviction catapults—-towards spiritual growth and freedom.” It’s amazing how something that feels so obvious can be so not before you read it in black and white!
I want to leave you with an inspirational quote out of this book. “In Christ, you are clean and forgiven. He loves you and me as much in this moment as in any other. He loves us when we are overcoming temptation and He loves us when we yield to it.” Nothing is too big to keep God from loving us. And I think that’s a pretty amazing gift. Don’t you? I am so thankful to believe in the one true GOD who stands for this. He stand for love and mercy and grace. And He gives it freely, no matter who we are, where we are from and how we got there.
Next up, I am reading Glimpses of Grace-Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman