Of all the books I've read about relationships and myself in relation to the world around me, three stood out. I mentioned number three of the best on the Part 2 post, Capture His Heart. In January I read Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions, by Lysa TerKeurst. TerKeurst is President of Proverbs 31 Ministries and also the author of Capture His/Her Heart. I found this book when a woman at church talked about it and posted it on FB as free on Kindle.
Is it obvious what attracted me to this book besides the lack of cost? Unglued is easily a word I can use to describe myself. Being an organized, detailed person, who thinks ahead and puts much thought into everything, the littlest things will tick me off. And I don't mean, oh I'm getting mad. It's more like instant boiling anger in the form of yelling and iffy language. Yes, everyone has their moments, but mine were daily and concentrated on my husband and kids. For a long time I just did what I could because it didn't seem there was anything I could do, the raw emotion was so instantaneous.
Then I read Unglued and TerKeurst's explanations of how people's emotions work stuck with me. I have a combination of two types she discusses. With my family I am what she calls an exploder. Exploders hold nothing back. But, I knew that wasn't all of it because with friends, even if I do get mad, I don't explode on them. The other half of my personality is what TerKeurst calls stuffer. I stuff all negative emotions when dealing with friends and acquaintances and ignore them for as long as possible. Eventually a stuffer's feelings will explode, but it usually takes time. I found that I would take my stuffed feelings home and explode there. Why we take advantage of the ones we love most is beyond me.
Unglued talks about other types of people as well as the negative consequences of raw emotion that you might not see coming. It really opened my eyes and although I don't always think in time to stop myself, I realize as I begin to rant or stuff that I need to stop and think. This is absolutely progress for me - "imperfect progress" as TerKeurst would say, but still progress.
The most recent book, my #1 which I read over Easter, is One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp. This book is a lesson in God's timing. A close friend recommended it over a year ago and I put it on my list, but never got around to it. In the midst of reading all of these books in the past months, that same friend sent me to Voskamp's blog (www.aholyexperience.com), which I eventually started following. By January I'd fallen in love with her writing and bought the book. For some reason it suddenly came to mind to read it over Easter break...and it was amazing. I don't know that I was ready for it over a year ago.
The entire book is centered around the idea of eucharisteo - Greek for thanksgiving, and containing word parts for grace and joy. In all things and all times - good and bad - there is thanks to be given to God. She expands upon this so much better than I can here and covers the idea of thanks across so many relevant topics, such as trust and fear. Her journey and transformation are captured beautifully and clearly. She is a hardworking wife and homeschooling mother of six, so the examples she gives of living eucharisteo through the hard parts of life were very practical to me. I get it. I can only say this is the best book of the Christian genre I've read.
That's a lot of information, lots of reading, but I think the journey has hardly begun. The books were introductions to ideas that have been in the making for two years, which I didn't realize until I starting writing about these books and rereading a journal of mine from 2011. Now, the actual practice of these lessons, is where the true journey begins.
What is your journey lately?